US 3571820 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Roy A. Jacuzzi Oakland, Calif. ] Appl. No. 734,960  Filed June 6, 1968  Patented Mar. 23, 1971  Assignee Jacuzzi Research, Inc.
 HYDROMASSAGE BATH INSTALLATION 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.  4/180 [5 l A47k 3/00  4/171, 172, 173,180;128/59, 66
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS l g s 96 0 7 8/1935 Reed, Jr. ..23/55; UX4 /173' Weber Steinkamp. Solley 128/370; X4/180 4/1955 Exton-Porter 4/173 12/1964 Jacuzzi 4/180 8/1966 Everston ....128/ 66; 11/1966 Nash 4/180 1/1967 Jacuzzi 128/66 5/1967 Schneider et a1. 4/180 10/1967 Guiler -...128/66;X4/180 FOREIGN PATENTS 8/1960 Germany 128/66 Primary Examiner-Laverne D. Geiger Assistant Examiner-Donald B. Massenberg Attorney-Edward Brosler ABSTRACT: A hydromassage bath installation wherein a jet assembly is mounted in a vertical wall of a bath tank in spaced relationship to the drain opening, with all flow passages in the circulatory system being above a drain line valve to assure a sanitary isolation of the drain line from the circulatory system during use, and further assure complete emptying of the bath water to the drain line upon opening of the drain valve.
HYDRUMASSAGE hATlll INSTALLATEON My invention relates to hydromassage bath equipment and more particularly to a hydromassage bath installation and assembly. I
In the past, various attempts have been made to convert a conventional bathtub into a hydromassage bath installation through the application thereto of a hydromassage system. Such attempts are exemplified by such patents as C. Jacuzzi, U.S. Pat. No. 3,159,849; F. Nash, US. Pat. No. 3,287,741; C. Jacuzzi, U.S. Pat. No. 3,297,025; Schneider et al., U.S. Pat.
No. 3,319,266; and Guiler, U.S. PatNo. 3,345,982.
In all these patents, a jet assembly is installed in the available drain opening of the tub and supplied through the drain opening by a motor-driven pump-located outside of the tub. In the main, an installation of this kind requires substantial and complex plumbing fittings and valves to assure sanitary isolation of the involved drain line from the circulatory system, and if such precautions are disregarded in an attempt to simplify an installation, such installation is hardly likely to satisfy the sanitary code requirements of the various jurisdictions throughout the country.
Among the objects of my invention are:
1. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage bath assembly;
2. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage bath assembly of extreme simplicity, and which, in spite of its simplicity, will satisfy code requirements for sanitary isolation of the drain line from the circulatory system;
3. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage bath assembly which is not restricted to bathtubs, but may involve tanks in general, including those in which the expected water level will be too high to render a drain opening installation practical;
4. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage bath installation in which there prevails a normal strong tendency for all water in the system to empty into the drain line upon cessation of pump operation and openingof the drain valve; and
5. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage bath installation requiring no special complex fittings.
Additional objects of my invention will be brought out in the following description of a preferred embodiment of the same, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein: v
FIG. 1 is a three-dimensional overall view depicting a hydromassage bath installation of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the hydromassage bath installation of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view in elevation, of the hydromassage bath installation of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a view, partly in section, of a jet assembly as installed in a vertical wall of the tub in the installation of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is a view in section, taken in the plane 5-5 of FIG. 2.
Referring to the drawings for details of my invention in its preferred form, the same involves a bathtub 1 having vertical sidewalls 3, 5 and end walls 7, 9, and a bottom wall 11, one of the end walls having an overflow opening 13, and the bottom wall having a drain opening 15.
The bathtub may be of conventional design though I prefer one having its cavity contoured to suggest placing oneself along a diagonal, in addition to providing flat surface areas l7, 19 at diagonally opposite corners along the remaining diagonal.
At each flat surface area thus formed, one may install a jet assembly 25.
Each such jet assembly may be constructed along the lines of any one of the various embodiments illustrated in the patent to C. Jacuzzi, U.S. Pat. No. 3,297,025, and as such, will generally comprise a housing 27 having an open forward end terminating in a peripheral flange 29, the housing being inserted through a correspondingly shaped opening in the wall of the tub, with the peripheral flange, sealingly engaging the wall of the tub.
The rearward end of the housing is closed except for provision of passageways 33 and 35 to one of which may be coupled a conduit or pipe 37 for supplying water to a jet nozzle 39 swivel mounted in the rear wall of the housing and terminating in a discharge end 41 at the open end of the housing. The remaining passageway 35 provides for air intake to the nozzle.
Anchored at one end to the rear wall of the housing outside of the tub and in communication with the air passageway to the jet nozzle, is a snorkel-type tube 45, the free end of which passes through a proximate point in the tub wall, the end of the tube thus exposed being internally threaded and provided with an air adjustment means for controlling the air intake to the jet nozzle during use. Such air control means may take the form of a hole 49 through the neck of a screwcap 51 threadedly installed in the exposed end of the tube.
For details of a construction of the jet nozzle and its swivel mounting within the housing, reference is made to the aforementioned Jacuzzi U.S. Pat. No. 3,297,025.
Water to each jet nozzle is supplied by a motor-driven pump 55 of the impeller type having an intake end 57 and discharge end 59, the discharge end being connected to each such nozzle by a conduit or pipe bl running along the outer side of the tub. The return flow from tub to the intake end of the pump is by way of the drain opening and connecting pipe 63, to complete the circulatory system involving all flow between the pump and the jet nozzle.
Inasmuch as the water in the tub must also flow through the drain opening to a drain line 65 when one desires to empty the tub upon completion of a bath, the problem arises of providing means for selectively connecting the pump intake end or drain line to the drain opening, each to the exclusion of the other while at the same time effecting sanitary isolation of the drain line from the circulatory system when the hydromassage system is in use, to preclude any possibility of drawing drain water and sediment from the drainline into the circulatory system while in use.
Toward solving this problem, I provide selective flow connecting means 67 including a hollow fitting 69 which is coupled to the drain opening of the tub. At its lowermost end, the fitting is flow connected to the drain line by a conduit 71 and T-coupling 73, and controlled by a drain valve 75 in the flow passageway thus formed. This valve may be manually actuated in the manner of the conventional drain valve in a bathtub. This may take the form of a lever 77 mounted in the overflow opening 113, and controlling a linkage system extending along the conventional overflow tube 79 and the conduit 71 to the valve, the overflow tube being flow connected to the drain line via the third arm of the T-coupling.
The pump should be mounted at an elevation above the drain valve and with its intake or suction line 63 connected to the fitting 69 at a point above the valve also, whereby the entire circulatory system will be disposed above the drain valve. Thus a complete emptying of the tub and circulatory system may be effected merely by opening of the drain valve and such elevational relationship will further assure the sanitary isolation of the drain line from the circulatory system, with the drain valve closed and the circulatory system functioning. Such complete draining of the system may be enhanced by appropriately sloping flow lines from the pump discharge end to the jet nozzles.
Should the drain opening 15 be blocked as by a washrag, with the resulting tendency of the pump suction to lift the drain valve 75, the air intake via the overflow opening 13 will break the pump vacuum. Waste water from the drain line cannot be drawn into the system under these conditions.
It will be apparent that the ability to isolate the drain line from. the circulatory system, in part, has been made possible by removing the jet assembly from the drain opening and installing the same in a vertical wall of the tub, whereby the pump no longer has to feed the jet nozzle through the drain opening, but can now supply the jet nozzle at an elevation substantially above the drain valve, and this, in conjunction with the installation of the pump along with the pump intake flow connection, above the elevation of the drain valve, will assure complete protection against contamination from the drain line.
Such arrangement offers the additional advantage that the system of the present invention may be applicable to tanks in general, including such tanks wherein the expected water level may be such as to render impractical, the installation of a jet assembly in a drain opening in the bottom wall of such tank.
Also by mounting the jet assembly in a vertical wall of a tank, the system is not restricted to but one jet assembly but may employ a plurality of such jet assemblies.
The location of the jet nozzle in a recessed housing as disclosed, and with the air control protruding but slightly from the wall surface, there is little opportunity for an individual injuring himself by engagement therewith, and such probability is essentially eliminated by the contour of the tub being such as to cause the individual to position himself along the remaining diagonal of the tub.
From the foregoing description of my invention in its preferred form, it will be apparent that the same fulfills all the objects attributed thereto, and while I have illustrated and described same in its preferred form, the same is subject to alteration and modification without departing from the underlying principles involved, and l accordingly do not desire to be limited in my protection to the specific details illustrated and described, except as may be necessitated by the appendant claims.
3. A hydromassage bath assembly system having a drain line, comprising:
a bath tank having vertical walls and a bottom wall, one of said walls having an overflow opening, and said bottom wall having a drain opening, and means for connecting said overflow opening to said drain line;
a jet assembly mounted in a vertical wall of said tank at a location spaced from said drain opening, and including ajet nozzle;
a pump having an intake end and a discharge end;
means flow connecting said pump discharge end along the outside of said tank to said jet nozzle; and
means for selectively fiow connecting said drain opening to said pump intake end and to said drain line, each to the exclusion of the other, whereby said pump may circulate the water in said system to the exclusion of said drain line, or drain to said drain line along with water from said tank.
2. A hydromassage bath assembly in accordance with claim 1, characterized by said selective flow connecting means including a hollow fitting flow coupled to said drain opening, conduit means flow connected to said fitting for flow connecting said fitting to said drain line, and a drain valve in the flow passageway formed between said fitting and said conduit for installation in a means, and means in a wall of said fitting above the location of said drain valve, for flow connecting said drain opening to the intake end of said pump when said valve is closed, and to permit said pump to drain to said drain line when said valve is open to flow connect said drain opening to said drain line.
3. A hydromassage bath assembly in accordance with claim 1, characterized by a first jet assembly mounted at substantially the junction of a side and end wall, and a second jet assembly mounted substantially diagonally therefrom, with the nozzle of each jet assembly connected to the pump discharge end, and said tank having its cavity contoured to encourage placing oneself along the other diagonal.
4. A hydromassage bath assembly in accordance with claim 2, characterized by all flow passageways between said pump and said jet assembly being above said drain valve in elevation.
5. A hydromassage bath assembly in accordance with claim 1, characterized by said means for flowing connecting the pump discharge end to said nozzle including a pipe connection sloping upwardly from said pump discharge end to said nozzle.
6. A hydromassage bath installation comprising: a bath tank having vertical walls and a bottom wall, one of said vertical walls having an overflow opening, and said bottom wall having a drain openin a et assembfy mounted in a vertical wall of said tank at a location spaced from said drain opening, and including a jet noule;
a pump having an intake end and a discharge end;
means flow connecting said pump discharge end along the outside of said tank to said jet nozzlc;
a drain line; and
means for selectively flow connecting said drain opening to said pump intake end and to said drain line, each to the exclusion of the other, whereby said pump may circulate the water in said system to the exclusion of said drain line, or drain to said drain line along with water from said tank.
7. A hydromassage bath installation in accordance with claim 6, characterized by said selective flow connecting means including a hollow fitting flow coupled to said drain opening, conduit means flow connecting said drain line to said fitting and a drain valve in the flow passageway formed between said fitting and conduit means, and means flow connecting said pump intake end to said fitting in a wall thereof at a location above said drain valve.
8. A hydromassage bath installation in accordance with claim 7, characterized by said jet assembly including a snorkel-type air intake tube anchored at one end in said jet assembly and having an exposed end within said tank above expected water level in said tank during use, and means flow connecting the discharge end of said pump to said jet nozzle, said means including a pipe connection sloping upwardly from said pump discharge end to said nozzle.