US 3587118 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor John R. Compton Rockland, Maine [2| 1 Appl. No. 740,798 4  Filed May 22, 1968  Patented June 28, 1971 Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 556,046, June 8, 1966, now abandoned.
 SIT-1N SHOWER AND BATH TUB, BOTH WITH DRIERS 20 Claims, 9 Drawing Figs.
521 US. Cl 4/146, /1  Int. Cl A47k 3/22  Field of Search 4/185, 145, 148, 146, 1,128/66, 254, 366
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 910,381 1/1909 Hermann 4/161 5/1922 Booth 128/66 6/1929 Bruggmann 128/66 1 H1953 Willis 4/145 8/1955 Boone 128/66X 6/1959 Medlock 4/147 3/1968 Ruderian 128/66 FOREIGN PATENTS 8/1964 Great Britain 4/145 Primary ExaminerWi1liam F. O'Dea Assistant Examiner-John H. Dodge Attorney-Abbott Spear ABSTRACT: Sit-in baths having a seat with means for delivering a drying airstream against the body of a person seated on the seat, the baths are either a shower stall or a tub and the tub may have additional features contributing to safety and convenience in use, such as means to operate the drain valve from the seat and a step when the tube is of a type that is set in the floor.
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INVENTOR JOHN R. COMPTON ATTORNEY PATENTEUJu-28|sn 3.587.118
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INVENTOR JOHN R. COMPTON BY,
ATTORNEY PATENTED JUN28 I97! INVENTQR JOHN R. COMPTON ATTOR NE SIT-IN SHOWER AND BATH TUB, BOTH WITII DRIERS The present invention relates to sit-in baths provided with means to deliver heated drying air against the limbs and body of the bather. The present application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application, now abandoned, Ser. No. 556,046, filed June 8, 1966.
Many elderly persons, as well as those otherwise physically handicapped, cannot use bathtubs or conventional showers for any one of a variety of reasons. The bathing of such people presents problems, particularly in hospitals and nursing homes.
The general objective of the invention is to eliminate many and lessen the seriousness of other of these problems, an objective attained with a sit-in bath comprising a water conforming base, a seat, a chamber and wall portions on both sides of and at the back of the seat. The wall portions, at least those on both sides of the seat have vertical plenums provided with a series of outlet orifices directed towards the general zone of a person seated on the seat. A heater of the forced air delivery type and located within the chamber is in communication with Y the plenums.
The sit-in bath may be a shower stall or the base portion may be a tub. In the latter case, the wall portions may be extended to provide a shower stall. Where the base portion is a tub that is to be set in the floor, a step is provided to make it easier and safer for a person to enter or step out from the tub and means are provided that are operable from the seat to operate the step and the drain, features that are important independently of the drying feature.
In the accompanying drawings, there is shown illustrative embodiments of the invention from which these and other of its objectives, novel features and advantages will be apparent.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a front perspective and partly broken away view of a sit-in shower stall in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a like but fragmentary view with the outer surface of a sidewall partly broken away to show the passage for the drying air;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the electrical and water delivery systems;
FIG. 4 is a rear view of the stall;
FIG. 5 is a rear and partly broken away view of the heat exchanger;
FIG. 6 is an end view thereof;
FIG. 7 is a plan view, on a reduced scale, of the stall with a vapor curtain in place;
FIG. 8 is a front view of a sit-in bath in accordance with another embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 9 is an exploded and partly broken away perspective of the installation illustrated by FIG. 8.
The sit-in shower stall shown in the drawings is generally indicated at 10 and has sidewalls 11 and I2, and a rear wall 13 and a front wall 14. The length of the sidewall 11 is less than that of the sidewall 12 so that the plane established by the front wall is a diagonal. The front wall 14 has a doorway or entrance spaced somewhat above the floor 15 which slopes inwardly towards the drain 16. It will be noted that the back wall 13 includes a boxlike projection 13A establishing a seat within the stall l0 and a chamber 17. The walls 11 and 12 are shown as extending a short distance rearwardly of the backwall 13 and their upper edges are joined thereto and to each other by a section 18 providing a rearwardly opening compartment generally indicated at 19 into which the chamber 17 opens.
Each of the sidewalls 11 and 12 has an air inlet 20 opening into the compartment 19 and a vertical passage or plenum 21 having a port 22 opening into the camber 17, see FIG. 2, and a series of orifices 23 opening into the zone occupied by the limbs and body of a person seated on the seat 13A. The stall 5 may be conveniently of fiber glass and each of the plenums 21 formed, as illustrated by FIG. 2, as a molded recess, in a layer A closed by a outer layer 118. The inlet 20 is shown as similarly formed with a hole 20A in the layer 11A and a grille 203 in the layer 1 1B.
When the stall 10 is formed of fiber glass, the hot and cold water lines 24 and 25, respectively, the shower line 26, and the conductors of the circuit 27 may be molded in the wall 12. One end 24A of the hot water line 24 and the corresponding end 25A of the cold water line 25 are exposed in the compartment 19 while their other ends are connected to an adjustable mixing valve 28 mounted on the inner surface of the wall 12 near the stall entrance. One end of the shower line 26 is connected to the valve 28 and includes a portion 26A extending across the compartment 19 and forwardly through the backwall l3 wherean adjustable shower head 29 is connected to it. The mixing valve 28 is desirably of the type that limits the maximum temperature of the water flowing to the shower head 29 regardless of its setting.
As will be apparent from FIGS. 3 and 4, the circuit 27 is a low voltage circuit, 15 volts, for example, from a transformer 30 in the heater control box 31. The transformer 30 is in the circuit 32 to the electric heater 33. The circuit 27 includes a switch 34 mounted on the front stall wall 14, a warning light 35 also mounted on the front wall, and a relay36 within the control box 31 and operable, when energized to close the circuit 32. The circuit 27 also includes two limit switches 37 responsive to the temperature of the air within the heater 33 and opening if a predetermined air temperature therein is exceeded. The electric heater 33 is provided with a blower 38 whose motor is in a circuit 39 from the junction box 40 and including a fan switch 41 also responsive to the air temperature in the heater 33 but closing at a predetermined temperature to circulate air when heated to a comfortable temperature.
The heater 33 has outlets 42 and 43, the outlets 42 being connected directly to a receptacle 44 in the port 22 of the sidewall 12 and the outlet 43 being connected to the receptacle 44 in the port 22 of the sidewall 11 by a flexible section 45 to simplify the installation of the heater.
The sidewalls 11 and 12 are provided with handrails 46 and, close to their upper edges, with rods 47 and 48, respectively. A curtain 49, see FIG. 7, has a series of rod-engaging hooks 50 extending along each of its sides. The curtain 49 is primarily for use in providing a vapor barrier for the bather and in order that it may fit around his neck, it has a central recess 51 open at one side and closed by a flap 52 thereby to make it easy for the bather to use the curtain.
In addition, there is provided a splash curtain 53, see FIG. 1, closing the entrance and having corner hooks 54, one for supporting engagement with the rod 47 and another for supporting engagement with the rod 48.
In practice, a patient may be wheeled to the stall entrance, if necessary, and with minimum difficulty seated on the seat 13A. Before the user enters the stall, he or the attendant turns the switch 34 into its on" position with the light 35 being a visible reminder that the blower 38 and the heater 33 are in service.
When the patient is seated, he or the attendant turns the valve 28 into its desired position and after the shower, the warm air dries the patient quickly, easily, and comfortably.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIGS. 8 and 9, a sit-in bathtub is generally indicated at 55 and is shown as of a type that is to be set into the floor 56. The tub 55 has a seat 57 at one end and a drain 58 at the other end.
At each side of the seat 57, there is a plenum 59 extending approximately the full length thereof and continuing downwardly along the front of the seat to the bottom of the tub. The plenums 59 have a series of orifices 60 and one of such orifice of each plenum is located as a drain therefor. A plenum 61 extends vertically of the back of the seat and is shown as having an orifice 62. A chamber 63 under the seat 57 houses a unit generally indicated at 64 and it may be the heater-blower combination shown and described in connection with the embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIGS. 1-7 and discharging into the plenums through outlets 65 into the several plenums and protected by water shields 66.
At the inner rear corner of the seat 57 there is a port 67 defined by removing a knock out" while at the adjacent end of the outer wall of the tub there is a like port 68 also established by removing a knock out," the ports 67 and 68 opening into the plenums.
When desired, a wall 69 including end and back portions may be mounted in the tub walls and covered by a cap 70. The end portion of the wall 69 that is in back of the seat 57 having a plenum 71 therein provided with an outlet 72.
A corner plenum 73 having outlet orifices 74 and a downwardly disposed inlet 75 for entry into the port 67 is anchored by cement or otherwise to the wall structure and to the tub. A plenum 76 is similarly sealed to the outer edge of the wall and to the tub and is provided with an inlet 77 extending downwardly through the port 68. The plenum 76 has a series of outlets 78.
On the inside of the outer wall of the tub there is a recess 79 in which a step 80 is pivoted to swing upwardly out of the way or downwardly into an operative position with its arm 81 then entrant ofa supporting shoulder 82 on the front of the seat 57.
A vertical support 83 has a lever 84 pivoted thereto that is accessible both from the seat or from outside the tub. A cable 85 is connected to the lever 84 and to the free edge of the step 80 thus to enable the step to be positioned operatively or inoperatively from outside the tub or by a person seated on the seat.
The drain 58 may be of any conventional type including a valve and having an operating arm 86 that may be pushed or pulled by a wire 87 connected to the end of a lever 88 also pivotably attached to the support 82 to be accessible by a person seated in the tub or by a person outside the tub.
It will be apparent that the embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIGS. 8 and 9 offer substantial advantages in installation as well as safety and convenience in use.
1. In a sit-in bath, a water-confining base having a drain and including a seat, a chamber, and wall portions on both sides of and at the back of said seat, at least the wall portions at both sides of the seat having vertical plenums provided with a series of outlet orifices directed towards the general zone of a person seated on said seat, and hot air delivery means within said chamber and in communication with said plenums.
2. The sit-in bath of claim 1 in which the base and the wall portions define a shower stall.
3. The shower of claim 2 in which the chamber is under the seat and opens rearwardly of the stall.
4. The shower of claim 2 in which there is a rearwardly opening compartment at the rear of the stall and the chamber is under the seat and opens into the compartment.
5. The shower of claim 2 in which the backwall of the stall includes a boxlike projection establishing the seat and defining the chamber.
6. The shower of claim 2 in which the walls are moulded and the plenums are cavities in the sidewalls and each plenum is approximately as wide as the zone and the orifices are arranged to outline said zone.
7. The shower of claim 6 in which the material from which the walls is moulded is fiber glass.
8. The shower of claim 4 in which the walls are moulded, a mixing valve mounted on the inside ofa sidewall forwardly of the seat and conduits are moulded in that sidewall with one set of corresponding ends connected to the valve and the other set of corresponding ends exposed in the rearwardly opening compartment.
9. The shower of claim 4 in which the walls are moulded, a control switch is mounted on the outside of a wall, and circuit conductors are moulded within the wall and connected at one end to the switch, the other ends of the conductors being within said rearwardly opening compartment, the material from which the walls are moulded being a nonconductor of electricity. v
10. The shower stall of claim 2 in which the length of one sidewall is less than the length of the other and the front wall is a diagonal and has a stall entrance.
11. The shower stall of claim 2 in which each sidewall has a rod extending lengthwise thereof near its upper edge and a vapor curtain dimensioned to overlie the stall includes a series of rodengaging hooks spaced along each side, the curtain having a neck-accommodating aperture opening through one side, and the curtain includes a flap to span and close the side opening.
12. The sit-in bath of claim 1 in which the base is a tub and the wall portions are hollow wall structure of the tub, the seat is at one end of the tub and the chamber is below the seat, a wall extending upwardly along both sides and the end of the tub and supported by the corresponding portions of the tub wall structure, an a pair of conduit members, one in the corner of the wall adjacent the inner side of the seat and the other at the outer side of the seat and secured to the wall, the conduit members including inlets extending downwardly into the hollow wall structure of the tub.
13. The sit-in bath of claim 12 in which the wall is a unit.
14. The sit-in bath of claim 13 and a cap supported by the wall.
15. The sit-in bath of claim 1 in which the plenums extend along each side of the seat and down to the bottom of the base forwardly of the seat, one orifice of each plenum being approximately flush with the base whereby the plenums drain into the base, and the air delivery means are in communication with the plenums at the sides of the seat and above adjacent orifices.
16. In a sit-in bath, a tub of the type to be set in a floor and having a drain at one end and a seat in the other, and a step mounted on the inside of the outer wall of the tub between the seat and the other end of the tub for movement between an inoperative position against said outer wall and an operative position in a plane intermediate the seat and the bottom of the tub, and means including a member attached to said tub and connected to said step and operable to move said step from one of said positions to the other and including a control accesible to and operable by a person seated on the seat.
17. The sit-in bath of claim 16 in which the member extends above the tub outer wall.
18. The sit-in bath of claim 16 in which the seat has a supporting portion engaged by the step when in its operative position.
19. The sit-in bath of claim 16 in which the drain includes control means to open and close it and including an operating member exposed above the outer tub wall.
20. The sit-in bath of claim 19 in which the outer tub wall has a vertical support between its ends and the seat-postioning means and the drain control means are levers pivotally connected to the vertical support.