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Publication numberUS3698020 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 17, 1972
Filing dateAug 21, 1970
Priority dateAug 21, 1970
Publication numberUS 3698020 A, US 3698020A, US-A-3698020, US3698020 A, US3698020A
InventorsMorris Earl L
Original AssigneeMorris Earl L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Manifold body for a multi-person shower assembly
US 3698020 A
Abstract
A generally cylindrical one-piece manifold body mounted in a hollow vertical housing with a plurality of shower heads to provide a multi-person shower assembly has a cylindrical configuration with a plurality of circumferentially, equally spaced chambers opening outwardly to receive a mixing valve in each chamber, hot and cold water inlets connected to hot and cold water supply pipes, hot and cold water manifold passages connecting their respective inlets with each chamber through ports, and outlet means from each chamber for passing hot and cold water, properly mixed to a desired temperature by the valve in the chamber, through a tube to the respective shower head. A ring extension is provided over each chamber to extend through an opening in the housing for increasing the effective depth of the chamber without increasing the diameter of the body between the chambers. The outlet means has upper or lower outlets therein to permit the body to be mounted with either axial side up to accept supply pipes extending from either the ceiling or the floor.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ 51 Oct. 17,1972

United States Patent Morris [57] ABSTRACT A generally cylindrical one-piece manifold body mounted in a hollow vertical housing with a plurality of shower heads to provide a multi-person shower as- 4} MANIFOLD BODY FOR A MULTI- PERSON SHOWER ASSEMBLY [72] Inventor: Earl L. Morris, 1501 North Cloister Road, Whittier, Calif. 90603 [22] Filed: Aug. 21, 1970 sembly has a cylindrical configuration with a plurality of circumferentially, equally spaced chambers opening [21] Appl. No.: 65,943 outwardly to receive a mixing valve in each chamber, hot and cold water inlets connected to hot and cold water supply pipes, hot and cold water manifold passages connecting their respective inlets with each chamber through ports, and outlet means from each [51] Int.

[58] Field of Search chamber for passing hot and cold water, properly References Cited mixed to a desired temperature by the valve in the UNITED STATES PATENTS chamber, through a tube to the respective shower head. A ring extension is provided over each chamber 3,045,250 7/1962 Booker..........................4/145 to extend through an opening in the housing for in- 2,825,909 3/1958 Morris...........................4/145 creasing the effective depth of the chamber without 3,184,762 5/1965 Logan............................4/145 i i g th diameter of the body between the chambers. The outlet means has upper or lower outlets therein to permit the body to be mounted with Primary 'P Rotllberg either axial side up to accept supply pipes extending Assistant Examiner-William H. Wright from either the ceiling or the floor. AtzorneyMiketta, Glenny, Poms and Smith 7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures MANIFOLD BODY FOR A MULTI-PERSON SHOWER ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to shower baths and more particularly to a manifold for receiving valve means to mix hot and cold water to provide water at a desired temperature to one of a plurality of shower heads of a multi-person shower.

A typical multi-person shower has a vertically disposed center housing or post which supports a plurality of shower heads circumferentially spaced thereabout to spray water radially outwardly therefrom. In the prior art, the temperature of the water dispensed by each individual shower head is controlled, for example, as in U. S. Pat. No. 1,747,838, by a pair of valves mounted generally at hand level on the central housing, each shower head having a hot and cold water control valve. In prior art systems, a'single hot water supply pipe and a single cold water supply pipe are provided which may approach the manifold from above by extending downwardly from the ceiling into the central housing. The prior art systems require a complicated manifold system to accommodate the pairs of separate control valves to provide the proper mixture of hot and cold water to attain the desired temperature. Such complicated manifolding is not readily adaptable to casting in a one-piece construction and may result in the use of manifolding which requires an increase in the diameter of the central housing to accommodate the manifold. Moreover, it is desirable to use a temperature control valve which employs a single manual control unit which requires a particular manifold configuration.

While valve means employing a control unit having a single handle are known in the art, such valve means are generally of substantial length resulting in the increase of the diameter of the central housing or the undesirable protrusion of the control unit from the hous- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the primary object of this invention to provide in a multi-person shower a water temperature control assembly which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art devices.

Other and additional objects of this invention are to provide a one-piece manifold construction for use in such water temperature control assembly, to provide a manifold body which permits the body to be positioned within a vertical housing so as to be connected to hot and cold water supply pipes which approach the manifold from the ceiling or floor, to provide a body with relatively simple manifold'passages to conduct the hot and cold water to individual mixing chambers so as to reduce the expense of manufacture, to provide a body having a construction which is of relatively small diameter and may thus be accommodated in a vertical housing of relatively small diameter, and to provide a manifold body which accommodates valve means of appreciable length but which are substantially disposed within the manifold and do not protrude substantially out of the housing thus reducing the danger of injury if a person slips and falls against the projecting valve body control handle.

Generally, the present invention provides in a multiperson shower comprising a hollow housing, a plurality of showerheads carried by said housing, a tube for each head, hot and cold water supply pipes in the housing and a plurality of mixing valve means, the improvement comprising a generally cylindrical one-piece manifold body in the housing with walls defining a plurality of mixing valve chambers, each with an outlet to a respective tube, and with an exterior opening for receiving a respective valve means, hot and cold water inlet means between adjacent mixing valve chambers and connected to the supply pipes, hot and cold water manifold passages extending around the body from their respective inlet means to fluidly connect the inlet means to the individual valve chambers through ports, with each mixing valve in a respective valve opening regulating the flow of hot and cold water to provide water at a desired temperature to the respective shower head.

The improvement may include a hollow extension extending the effective depth of the valve chambers to receive long valves, without increasing the diameter of the manifold body between the chambers, and therefore the hollow housing in which the body is mounted. Opposed bosses on the manifold body may be provided with an outlet in either boss permitting the body to be mounted with either side up. The valve means may be pressure controlled mixing means for maintaining a constant flow ratio of hot and cold water to maintain the desired temperature of water spraying from the respective showerhead.

Other and additional objects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially in section, of a multi-person shower with a vertical hollow housing having a plurality of showerheads, each with a tube therefrom to a manifold body according to this invention, which is supplied with hot and cold water through supply pipes from below;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view, partially in section, taken along the plane II-II of FIG. I showing a valve assembly located in one of the valve chambers of the manifold body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top view, partially in section, taken along the plane III-III of FIG. 2 showing the manifold body of FIG. 1 with one of the sectioned valve chambers empty, and the other of the sectioned valve chambers with valve means mounted therein, and showing an escutcheon over the valve assembly to close an opening in the housing;

FIG. 4 is a developed view taken along the plane lV-IV of FIG. 3 showing therelationship of the termination of the hot water passage to the cold water inlet and manifold passage of the manifold body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the plane V-V of FIG. 3 showing the hot water inlet of the manifold body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the plane VI-Vl of FIG. 3 showing the cold water inlet of the manifold body of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken along the plane VII-VII of FIG. 3 showing valve means mounted in a valve chamber of the manifold body of FIG. I mounted in the housing, with the outlet in the upper outlet bosses of the chamber, connected to a shower head tube; and

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 1, but with the hot and cold water supply pipes approaching from above, and with the manifold body of FIG. 1 being mounted inverted in the housing to receive the supply pipes from above.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT:

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, an improved multi-person shower assembly according to this invention is generally denoted by the reference numeral 10. The multi-person shower assembly 10 is located in a shower room 11 having a floor 12 and a ceiling 13.

A hollow shower housing or post 15 extends vertically between the floor 12 and the ceiling 13. The shower housing 15 has a tubular lower portion 16 extending from the floor l2 and a central cavity 17 with a plurality of openings 18 therethrough generally midway of the tubular lower portion 16. A flared tubular upper portion 19 above the tubular lower portion 16, extends to the ceiling 13.

A plurality of showerheads 20 are mounted on the upper portion 19 of the shower housing 15. The showerheads 20 each have an adjustable nozzle 21 carried by a tubular member 22 extending through openings in the flared upper portion 19. Any number of showerheads 20 may be provided, and five are shown herein for purposes of illustration. Conventional multiperson showers may include 4, or 6 showerheads. Generally the showerheads 20 will be circumferentially equally spaced about the shower housing 15 to provide a maximum spacing between the showerheads 20 and between the showerheads 20 and therefore spacing between the areas in which the water from each showerhead is sprayed.

A shower tube 24 which may be integral with tubular member 22, extends from each showerhead 20 radially inwardly in the housing upper portion 19 and then downwardly into the cavity 17 of the tubular lower portion 16 to terminate adjacent the openings 18.

A hot water supply pipe 26, and a cold water supply pipe 27 extend upwardly from the floor 12 of the shower room 11 into the central cavity 17 of the tubuchambers 31 are circumferentially equally spaced about the manifold body 30. The mixing valve chambers 31 each have a radially outwardlyfacing exterior opening 32 surrounded by a face 33. The face 33 has four ears 34 each with atapped hole 35 for a purpose which becomes apparent later.

A hot water inlet means 40 is located on the manifold body 30 between two adjacent mixing'valvechambers 30 (see FIG. 3). As best seen in FIG. 5, the hot water inlet means 40 has a downwardly projecting portion 41 with a hollow cavity 42 therein, extending from the lower end thereof upwardly to terminate adjacent the upper surface of the body 30. The portion 41 has in its lower end a counterbore 43 for receiving the upper end of the hot water supply pipe 26.

Likewise, a cold water inlet means 44 is located between another two adjacent mixing valve chambers 31 (see FIG. 3). As best seen in FIG. 6, the cold water inlet means 44 has a downwardly projecting portion 45 with a hollow cavity 46 which extends from the lower end thereof upwardly to terminate adjacent the midway point of the manifold body 30. A counterbore 47 is also provided in the lower end of the portion 45 for receiving the upper end of the cold water supply pipe 27. It is contemplated that both the hot water and cold water supply pipes 26 and 27 will be soldered in the portions 41 and 45 of the hot and cold water inlet means 40 and 44 respectively, to provide a water-tight connection therebetween.

The manifold body 30 has a hot water manifold passage 50 in the upper half thereof extending in both directions from the hot water inlet means 40 around the manifold body 30 past the valve chambers 31 to terminate at the mixing valve chambers 31 adjacent the cold water inlet means 44 as seen in FIG. 4. The upper end of cavity 42 of the hot water inlet means 40 opens to the hot water manifold passage 50. The hot water manifold passage 50 has ports 51 therefrom into each mixing valve chamber 31 to supply each mixing valve chamber 31 with hot water.

Likewise, a cold water manifold passage 52 is located in the lower half of the manifold body 30 and extends from the cold water inlet means 44 oppositely around the manifold body 30 past the valve chambers 31 to terlar lower portion 16 of the shower housing or post 15 and outlet means 55, hollow extensions 65 may be provided to extend .the mixing valve chambers 31 of the manifold body 30 for receiving mixing valve means 70.

As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the manifold body 30 is generally cylindrical or annular in shape. The

manifold body 30 has a multiplicity of walls defining various chambers and passages inside of the exterior surface of the manifold body. The walls define a plurality of mixing valve chambers 31, one mixing valve chamber 31 for each showerhead 20. The mixing valve minate at the valve chambers 31 adjacent the hot water inlet means 40. The cold water manifold passage 52 has ports 53 extending therefrom into each valve chamber 31 to supply each valve chamber 31 with cold water.

As best seen in FIG. 4, the ports 51 and 53 are horizontally opposite in the mixing valve chambers 31 and the hot water port 51 and the cold water port 53 are in either side of the chamber 31 depending upon the particular mixing chamber 31 in question.

Each mixing valve chamber 31 is provided with outlet means 55 which, in the preferred embodiment, is a generally rectangular space extending radially inwardly from the mixing valve chamber 31. The outlet means 55 as best seen in FIG. 7 includes oppositely extending bosses 56 and 57 with an uppervertical opening 58 in the boss 56 in the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 7.

All of the hoses 56 are counterbored at their outer ends to receive the lower end of a shower tube 24 for the respective chamber 31.

A hollow ring extension (see FIG. 3) is provided for each of the mixing valve chambers 31 of the manifold body 30. The hollow ring extension 65 includes a counterbore 66 on the radial inner end thereof which mates with the face 32 of the manifold body. The ring extension has a radially outwardly facing flat face 68 and a central open ended cavity 69.

An exemplary mixing valve means 70 for use in the manifold body 30 may comprise a pressure equalizing valve which delivers constant selected water temperature regardless of pressure fluctuations in the hot and cold water supply. Such a valve is sold, for example, by the Powers Regulating Company of Skokie, Illinois, under the designation Power Series 410 Hydrogard. Basically, the valve includes an end plate 71 with four apertured ears 72, and two tapped aperture cover ears 73.

A control unit 74 is located on the inside of the end plate 71 and is adapted for being received in the mixing valve chambers 31. The control unit 74 has a plastic body with horizontally oppositely opening inlets 75 (see FIGS. 3 and 7), one for hot water and the other for cold water which communicate to central passages of the control unit 74 where piston and diaphram means (shown in phantom) regulate and equalize the ratio of flow of hot and cold water therethroughregardless of the variations of pressure. The hot and cold water in equal ratios flows from the central passages through outlets 76 opening toward the end plate 71. The control unit 74 also includes a slotted plate 77 between the unit 74 and the end plate 71 with the slots thereon restricting the flow of water through the outlets 76. The slots of the plate 77 are so designed that rotation of the plate in one direction about its axis increases the flow of hot water while decreasing the flow of cold water and vice versa. The plate 77 also has a limit position which blocks the flow of both hot and cold water.

A manual control rod 78 is connected to the slotted plate 77 and extends through the end plate 71. The control rod 78 is rotatable relative the end plate 71 to rotate the slotted plate 62 and therefore vary the ratio of hot and cold water which passes through the outlet 76 to regulate the temperature of the water in the mixing valve chambers 31. The control rod 78 has stop means 79 including a member 80 secured to the rod 78 itself adjacent the end plate 71 and a fixed member 81 extending from the end plate 71 to meet the member 80 and limit the rotation of the control rod 78 in the limit position thereof.

As best seen in FIG. 1, the manifold body 30 is mounted in the tubular lower portion 16 of the shower housing or post with the hot water and cold water supply pipes 26 and 27 in fluid communication with the hot water and cold water inlet means 40 and 44 and with the shower tubes 24 from the shower heads in the fluid communication with the upper first vertical opening 58 of the outlet means 55 of the valve chambers 31. When the manifold body is mounted in the tubular lower portion 16, each mixing valve chamber 31 is located radially inwardly from a respective opening 18 in the housing. I

Each hollow ring extension 65 is positioned with the counterbore 66 thereof around the face 33 of each of the valve chambers 31 and each valve means 70 has the control unit 74 thereof located in a respective valve chamber 31 extended by extension 65. The end plate 71 covers the outer open end of the cavity 69 of the hollow ring extension. Machine screws 85 extend through the apertured body ears 72 to threadably engage tapped holes 35in the ears 34 on the manifold body 30.

An escutcheon 86 has a central hole 87 through which the control rod 78 extends, and side holes 88 through which machine screws 89 extend to the tapped apertures of the ears 73 of the end plate 71 to secure the escutcheon 86. to the tubular lower portion 16. An escutcheon is provided over each opening 18 in the tubular lower portion 16 of the housing 15. Handles 90 are placed on the outer end of each control rod 78 to complete the assembly 10.

In operation, the hot water and cold water from the respective supply pipes 26 and 27 flows into the manifold body 30 through the hot and cold water inlet means 40 and 44 into the hot water and cold water manifold passages 50 and 52 and through the hot water and cold water ports 51 and 53 of each valve chamber 31 to supply the control unit 74 of the mixing valve means 70 with both hot and cold water. The mixing valve means 70 delivers a constant selected water temperature regardless of pressure fluctuation in the hot. and cold water supplied .to the valve chamber 31 in which it is located. The water at the desired'temperature in-each mixing valve chamber passes around the control unit 74 therein and through the upper first vertical opening 58 thereof to pass through the respective shower tube 24 and exhaust from a respective nozzle 21 of showerhead 20. 4

It will be appreciated that while the valve means disposed in each mixing valve chamber 31 has a substantial length, they are almost entirely disposed within the manifold body 30 and thus within the housing containing the manifold. Accordingly, only a small portion of the valve means protrudes through the openings 18 in the housing, and such portion is easily housed in the escutcheons 86. The assembly, therefore, minimizes the possibility of a user receiving a sharp and damaging blow from protruding member should the user accidentally slip and fall against the shower system housing. It will also be noted that the effective mixing valve chamber depth is extended by the hollow ring extensions 65 without increasing the overall diameter of the manifold body or the housing in which the manifold is mounted.

Referring now to FIG. 8, an alternative method of mounting the manifold body 30 in the cavity 17 of the tubular lower portion 16 of the shower housing or post 15 is shown. In the alternative embodiment, the hot water supply pipe 26 and the cold water supply pipe 27 enters the cavity. 17 from above. In such an installation, the manifold body 30 is mounted upside down, with the bosses 41 and 45 of the hot and cold water inlet means 40 and 44 extending upwardly to receive the downwardly extending supply pipes 26 and 27. With shower 10 is to be located on eachfloor, a common hot water feed pipe and cold water feed pipe may be provided for each two floors with the hot water and cold water supply pipes 26 and 27 on the upper of the two floors extending from the respective common feed pipes upwardly through the floor 12 while the hot water supply pipe and cold water supply pipe 26 and 27 of the lower shower room extend from the respective common feed pipes downwardly through the ceiling 13. This arrangement provides-economical use of water piping and the manifold body 30 according to this invention is readily adaptable to this construction.

,I claim: i I

1. In a vertically disposed, multi-person shower comprising a hollow vertical housing, a plurality of showerheads carried by said housing, a tube in fluid communication with each head, hot and cold water supply pipes disposed in the housing, and a plurality of mixingv valve means, one for each showerhead, each mixing valve means having an end plate and a control unit with a control rod through the end ,plate, the improvement comprising:

a generally cylindrical, one-piece manifold body supported in the housing, said body having walls defining a plurality of mixing valve chambers, each of said chambers in fluid communication with one of said showerheads through an outlet to one of said tubes, each of said valve chambers being circumferentially spaced from the other chambers and opening to the exterior surface of the body for receiving one of said mixing valve means; hot water inlet means located in the manifold body between adjacent mixing valve chambers and in fluid communication with the hot water supply pipe; cold water inlet means located in the manifold body between two other adjacent mixing valve chambers in fluid communication with the cold water supply pipe; a .hot water manifold passage inflfluid communication with said hot water inlet, extending in opposite directions from said hot water inlet, interconnecting each of said mixing valve chambers through a port, and terminating at said mixing valve chambersadjacent said cold water inlet; and a cold water manifold passage in fluid communication with said cold water inlet, extending in opposite directions from said cold water inlet, interconnecting each of said mixing valve chambers through a port, and terminating at said mixing valve chambers adjacent the hot water inlet; each mixing valve 'means received in one of said chambers through the exterior opening of said chamber with the .end plate of said mixing valve means received in one of said chambers throughthe exterior opening of said chamber with theend plate of said mixing valve means closing the exterior opening; the control unit of said mixing valve means adapted for selectively changing the ratio of flow of hotand cold water through the ports into the valve chamber in response to rotation of the control rod to regulate the housinghas thin walls defining a central cavity for receiving the manifold therein, said housing walls having openingstherein adjacent theexterior openings, of the mixing valve chambers when the body is mounted therein and I I the length of. the control..unit is greater than the depth of the valve chamber measured from the surface of the manifold body at the exterior opening, and additionallycomprising:

ring extensions mounted on the manifold body around the exterior openings of each mixing valve chamber and extending through its respective housing opening to extend the mixing valve chamber for receiving the control unit therein, with the end plate closing the ring extension whereby a long control unit may be employed with a relativelyv small diameter housing and with a minimal projection beyond the housing outer wall.

3. The improvement as in claim 2 wherein the control unit of the mixing valve means has a substantial portion of its length received in the mixing valve chamber of.the manifold body to reduce the protrusion of the valve means from the body and from the housing therearound.

4. The improvement as in claim 1 wherein:

saidmanifold body is provided with opposed outle means, one of said outlet means extending to one axial surface, and the other of said outlet means extending to the opposite axial surface, said manifold body being mounted with one axial surface facing upwardly when the hot and cold water supply pipes approach the manifold body from below, and being mounted with the opposite axial surface facing upwardly when the hot and cold water supply pipes approach the manifold body from above, the upper outlet means in either orientation being in fluid connection with the respective tubes to permit the manifold body to be used with hot and cold water supply pipes approaching from above or below.

5. The manifold body as in claim 1 wherein the control unit includes a pressure control mixing means with hot water and cold water inlets, and said hot water and cold water ports in each mixing valve chamber are in fluid communication with the respective inlets when each mixing means is received in the chamber, said pressure control mixing meansmaintaining a constant water flow rate to said showerheads regardless of the pressure variations in the hot and cold water being supplied thereto to provide the temperature selected by the position of the control rod.

6. A water temperature control assembly for a multishowerhead system including a plurality of valve means, each having an end plate and ane'longated'control unit with a control rod extending therefrom to the end plate, said temperature control assembly comprisa generally cylindrical one-piece manifold'body having walls defining a plurality of valve chambers, each of said valve chambers being circumferentially spaced from the other of said valve chambers and opening to the exterior surface of the body for receiving one of the valve means; hot and cold water inlet means; and an outlet means for each valve chamber for supplying and exhausting water'to'and from each chamber; and

manifold body therein, said walls having openings therethrough adjacent the exterior openings of the valve chambers when the body is mounted therein, each of said ring extensions being positioned on the surface of the manifold body after the manifold body is received in the housing, and extending through a respective opening of the housing, permitting the annular body with a diameter substantially equal to the diameter of the housing to be received in a central cavity of the housing while receiving substantially the entire elongated valve means control unit.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2825909 *Feb 25, 1955Mar 11, 1958Acorn Eng CoMultiperson shower construction
US3045250 *Sep 19, 1960Jul 24, 1962Bradley WaschfontaenenShower manifold
US3095579 *Oct 30, 1961Jul 2, 1963Speakman CoColumn shower
US3184762 *Oct 9, 1963May 25, 1965Logan Mfg CompanyMulti-station shower fixture with sloping shower head panel
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5148556 *Aug 29, 1990Sep 22, 1992Bottoms Jr John EWall-cantilevered showering apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/601
International ClassificationA47K3/28
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/28
European ClassificationA47K3/28