|Publication number||US3791584 A|
|Publication date||Feb 12, 1974|
|Filing date||Aug 25, 1972|
|Priority date||Aug 25, 1972|
|Also published as||DE2351227A1|
|Publication number||US 3791584 A, US 3791584A, US-A-3791584, US3791584 A, US3791584A|
|Inventors||R Bentley, J Drew|
|Original Assignee||Rain Jet Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (29), Classifications (22), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Drew et al. Feb. 12, 1974 SHOWER HEAD Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. 751 Inventors: John H. Drew, Encino; Robert F. M' Y Bentley, North Hollywood, both of Attorney, Agent, or FzrmChristie, Parker & Hale Calif.  Assignee: Rain Jet Corp., Burbank, Calif.  ABSTRACT A shower head includes a nozzle assembly and an axi-  Flled' 1972 ally movable surrounding adjustment shroud. The noz- [21 Appl. No.: 283,717 zle assembly per se is of the rotary stem type and functions to discharge a plurality of separate Water streams in a desired rotating pattern. The trajectory of the sev- 239/237 i l ggg eral streams oscillates within defined limits. Each Field 382 456 stream is composed of individual water droplets. The 2 shroud is adjustable axially along the nozzle assembly so that the discharge characteristic of the head is variable, without affecting water flowrate, from a dis-  References Clted charge comprised of these several streams to a rela- UNWED STATES PATENTS tively hard, closely focused water discharge in which 2,974,877 3/1961 Hruby, Jr 239/456 X the individual streams are merged, and also to a soft 3,1 .69! 96 Gall 4 4 239/456 aerated closely focused discharge in which the several 3,093,318 6/1963 Chow i 239/456 streams are merged 3,120,346 2/1964 Willhoite 239/38l X 9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SHOWER HEAD FIELD OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains generally to shower heads, and more particularly to a shower head having a rotatable water discharging stem and in which the water discharge is variable over a wide range of characteristics.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Review of the Prior Art U.S. Pat. No. 2,974,877 is owned by the assignee of this invention and describes a series of related shower structures over each of which this invention constitutes a significant improvement. At one time, shower heads according to this prior patent were marketed in the United States. These prior shower heads are similar to the shower heads of this invention in that they include a central nozzle assembly having a rotary stem through which water is discharged, and a surrounding adjustment shroud axially movable along the nozzle assembly.
In the prior shower heads of the type here involved, th water discharge pattern of the head could be varied from a discharge characteristic comprised of a plurality of separate forceful water streams, arranged in a desired rotating conical pattern in which the axis of the pattern oscillated angularly within limits defined by the nozzle structure; this was one limit of the adjustment range of the prior shower heads. The other limit of the adjustment range corresponded to a relatively hard, closely focused discharge in which the individual streams emanating from the rotary stem were merged. It was found that these prior shower heads were favored by men who enjoyed both the massage-like effect of the rotating and oscillating pattern of discrete water streams and the closely focused, relatively hard discharge. These priorshower heads, however, were not well received by women who, it has been found, prefer a soft, aerated, closely focused unitary discharge stream.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention provides an improved shower head of the general type described above which retains all of the operating characteristics previously found to be of appeal to men, but which is adjustable to provide a discharge characteristic of the type found to be appealing to women.
Generally speaking, this invention provides a shower head which includes a nozzle assembly and a discharge adjusting member. The nozzle assembly includes a body adapted to be connected to a source of water, and a stem rotatably mounted substantially coaxially in the body and defining orifice means for discharging a plurality of individual water streams. The discharge adjusting member is disposed around the nozzle assembly and defines a central cavity. The cavity has an outlet opening, an elongate major diameter portion, and a conical shoulder surface. The outlet opening is of diameter greater than the portion of the stem defining the orifice means and has a definite axial extent which is'many times smaller than the diameter of the outlet opening. At least the one end of the nozzle assembly is disposed within the major diameter portion of the cavity. The conical shoulder surface is formed concave away from the outlet opening and extends from the inner end of the axial extent of the outlet opening to the adjacent end of the major diameter portion. The shower head also includes means for mounting the adjusting member around the nozzle assembly for movement relative to the nozzle assembly into and out of modulating engagement with the water streams.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The above-mentioned and other features of this invention are more fully set forth in the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment of this invention, which description is presented with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional elevation view of the shower head showing the retracted position of the adjusting member relative to the nozzle assembly;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 2-2 inFIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view, partially in crosssection, showing the adjusting member in its fully extended position relative to the nozzle assembly.
DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT A shower head (see FIG. 1) includes an elongate tubular nozzle assembly 11 which is journalled within a central bore 12 of a surrounding discharge adjusting member 13. The nozzle assembly comprises an elongate tubular body 14 which is internally threaded at its anterior end 16. The body is of constant outer diameter for a major portion of its length from its anterior end to an external shoulderl7 at which the outer diameter of the body is somewhat increased for the remaining minor portion of its length. The body defines external screw threads at its posterior end 19. The inner diameter of the body is of constant diameter from its internal threads to an internal shoulder which faces toward posterior end 19. Between shoulder 20 and the posterior end of the body, the inner diameter of the body is enlarged to receive asocket ball 21 of a fitting 22 which has an internally threaded boss 23 integral therewith for receiving an externally threaded water supply pipe or the like. Fitting 22 has a passageway 24 formed therethrough for flow of water from the water supply pipe into the body of the shower head nozzle assembly. An internally threaded socket nut 25 is engaged with the body external threads to secure the body to socket ball 21 and to urge the ball into contact with an annular gasket 26 disposed between the ball and shoulder 20. The rim of a wire mesh strainer element '27 is interposed between the gasket and shoulder 20, as shown in FIG. 1. Strainer 27 serves to capture any solid matter which may be introduced into the shower head through passage 24.
An axially bored, externally threaded cap 29 is connected to the body anterior end and forms an end enclosure for the body. The cap defines a relatively short, small diameter outlet opening 30 from the body immediately forward of an inside annular shoulder 31 at the forward end of the cap bore. At least the forward extent of the cap bore is internally threaded to receive the externally threaded forward end of an elongate tube 32. An annular bearing 33 is held in position between shoulder 31 and the forward end of tube 32 and has an inner diameter which is less than the diameter of cap outlet opening 30. Bearing 33 is preferably made of a synthetic material, such as nylon, which has lubricating properties in the presence of water. Tube 32 extends coaxially within body 14 and has its rear end closed by a suitable plug 34 adjacent strainer screen 27.
A tubular stem 35 extends into the body through body outlet opnening 30 and,-at its outer end, carries a head portion 36. The outer diameter of the stem is slightly smaller than the inner diameter of bearing 33 such that the stem is rotatably mounted within the body by the bearing.
An elongate sleeve 38 is affixed to the exterior of the stem within tube 32 as by a pin 39. The forward end of the sleeve is abuttable with the rear face of bearing 33 to provide a stop for limiting movement of the stem outwardly of the nozzle assembly body. The stem has limited axial movement relative to the bearing, and a stop for limiting movement of the stem inwardly of the body is provided by a protuberance 40 formed, within body outlet opening 30, at the extreme rear end of the otherwise conical rear external surface 41 of head portion 36. The outer diameter of sleeve 38 is sufficiently smaller than the inner diameter of tube 32 that a chamber 42, formed within the tube, has an annular portion 43 along the sleeve when the stem is aligned with the axis 44 of the shower head.
During operation of the shower head, water is admitted to chamber 42 from the interior of body 14 via a plurality of elongate slots 45 formed radially through tube 32 in alignment with the length of the tube. As shown in FIG. 2, it is presently preferred that four such slots be formed through the tube. It is within the scope of this invention, however, that, if desired, the water ingress openings into chamber 42 may be formed substantially tangentially through tube 32, as shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,974,877. Water entering chamber 42 passes from the chamber into the open rear ends of stem 35 and sleeve 38 to flow along the stem to a cavity 46 within head portion 36. Water emerges from the nozzle assembly via a plurality of orifices formed through the head portion between a front face 47 thereof and cavity 46. As shown best in FIGS. 1 and 3, the orifice means include a central hole 48 formed coaxially of the stem and a plurality, preferably four, of additional holes 49 which are oriented to be divergent from the axis of the stem. Thus, water emerges from the nozzle assembly as a plurality of divergent water streams so that, in one operative condition of the shower head, the crosssectional area of the discharge pattern head increases proceeding away from the front end of the shower head. Preferably, the angle ofdivergence of holes 49 from the axis of stem tube 35 is on the order of from to which angle is sufficiently small that these holes are directed generally axially of the stem.
The difference between the inner diameter of bearing 33 and the outer diameter of stem 35 is sufficiently great that the stem can pivot relative to body 14 about a fulcrum associated with the hearing within limits defined by the difference between the inner diameter of tube 32 and the outer diameter of sleeve 38 at the rear end of the sleeve. For reasons which are not completely understood, the flow characteristics of water entering chamber 42 through slots 45 act upon stem 35 to induce rotation of the stem about its axis; this occurs even where slots 45 are formed radially of tube 32 rather than substantially tangentially of the inner surface of the tube. Also, it has been found that, as well as rotating, the stem also pivots relative to the tube about the fulcrum associated with bearing 33. This combination of pivoting and rotating movement of the stem during operation of the shower head produces a gyratory motion of the stem, and particularly of head portion 36 carried by the stem adjacent the front end of body 14. As a result, during operation of the shower head, the trajectory of the several water streams which emanate from the nozzle assembly via holes 48 and 49 oscillates angularly relative to the axis of the shower head, with the maximum divergence of any of these water streams from the shower head axis being not more than about 30.
As shown best in FlG. l, for example, it is preferred that the exterior surfaces of head portion 36 include a cylindrical surface 50 extending from the front face of the head portion. to the front end of conical surface 41.
Adjusting member 13 is comprised of an inner sleeve portion 51 and an outer conical grip portion 52 which preferably are integrally connected with each other. Sleeve portion 51 surrounds a cavity 53 which is principally defined by bore 12 and which has a reduced di ameter outlet opening 54 at its forward end. The outlet opening is of definite but'limited extent axially of the adjusting member and is greater in diameter than the diameter of the cylindrical surface 50 of stem head portion 36. The diameter of the cavity outlet opening is many times (at least three times) greaterthan the axial extent of the opening. The surfaces of cavity 53 include a conical shoulder surface 55 disposed concave away from the outlet opening and extending from the rear end of the axial extent of the outlet opening to the forward end of bore 12. As shown in the drawings, the diameter of bore 12 is slightly greater than the outer diameter of nozzle assembly body 14 and end cap 29.
The adjusting member is axially movable along the nozzle assembly which is disposed within bore 12. Movement of the adjusting member relative to the nozzle assembly is constrained to axial movement by cooperation of the inner end of a setscrew 57 with a groove 58 formed in the exterior of body 14 parallel to the axis of the nozzle assembly. The setscrew is received within a suitably threaded aperture formed in a boss portion 59 near the rear end of the adjusting member. Interference between the setscrew and the rear end of grooves 58 defines one of two limiting positions of the ajusting member axially of the nozzle assembly. Preferably, the rear end of groove 58 is defined at such a position along the body that mechanical interference between the setscrew and the rear end of the groove occurs simultaneously with engagement of the rear end of the adjusting member with body shoulder 17. The other limiting position of the adjusting member relative to the nozzle assembly is defined by cooperation of the setscrew with the forward end of groove 58, as shown best .in FIG. 4. The length of the adjusting member, in the presently preferred embodiment of this invention shown in the drawings, is defined so that when the adjusting member is at its rear limiting position relative to the nozzle assembly, the forward end of the adjusting member is substantially in a common plane with the front face of stem head portion 36; in this position of the adjusting member, the several water streams emanating from holes 49 make no contact with the adjusting member. Conversely, the length of the adjusting member is sufficiently great that, when .the member is at its forward limit of travel along body 14, the front face of the stem head portion is disposed in cavity 53 well back from shoulder surface 56; in this position of adjusting memher, the water streams from holes 49 commence to contact bore 12 about one-half the distance to the front end of the adjusting member. Such contact of the water with the surfaces of cavity 53,-and the resulting interaction of the reflected water streams with themselves, modulates the energy in the water streams to produce the novel discharge pattern which is characteristic of shower head and which is of appeal to women.
An O-ring 60 is carried in a groove circumferentially of cap 29 for frictional cooperation with adjusting member bore 12. This cooperation enables the adjusting member to be maintained in any desired position thereof between its two limits of movement axially of the nozzle assembly.
A comparison of the accompanying drawings with the illustrations of US. Pat. No. 2,974,877 will show that the structure of a shower head according to the present. invention is similar to the structures shown in the patent except fortwo significant areas of difference, namely, the length of groove 58 along the length of nozzle assembly body 14 and the geometry of the forward end of the cavity defined within the adjusting member. These differences enable shower head 10 to produce a relatively closely focused aerated soft stream of water when adjusting member 13 is disposed at its forward limit of travel relative to nozzle assembly 11; this water discharge characteristic is provided without adverse effect upon the also desirable discharge effects capable of being produced by prior shower heads having the various structures shown in U.S. Pat. No. 2,974,877. I
A brisk massage effect is produced by operation of shower head 10 when the adjusting member is at its rearward position on the nozzle assembly. When the adjusting member is moved to a position about twothirds of the way toward its forward limit of travel along the nozzle assembly, the several water streams emanating from stem head portion 46 impinge upon and interact only moderately with the surfaces of cavity 53 to provide a sharply focused, relatively unaerated, relatively hard consolidated water stream'which manifests little divergence relative to the axis of the shower head. On the other hand, the aerated, soft, closely focused, low energy discharge characteristic produced by shower head 10 at the forward limit of adjustment of the adjusting member on the nozzle body is an effect which has heretofore not been produced and which has been found to be particularly appealing to women.
It has been found that the dimensions and geometry of the forward portions of. adjusting member cavity 53, and their relation to certain features of the nozzle assembly, are significant in providing the wide range of shower head operating characteristics discussed above. Thus, in a presently preferred embodiment of this invention which is shown in the accompanying drawings, stem head portion 36 has an outer diameter in the range of from 0.525 to 0.530 inch. Orifice hole 48 has a diameter of 0.073 inch and each of orifice holes 49 has a diameter of 0.104 inch. Holes 49 are provided in diametrically opposed pairs, and the holes in each pair have a common angle of divergence from the axis of stem 35 which is different from the divergence angle I for the other pair of holes. Each hole in one pair of holes 49 has a divergence angle of 7, and each hole of the other pair of holes has a divergence angle of 14.
The internal structure of the nozzle assembly is arranged so that the maximum angle of pivot of the stem relative to axis 44 about the fulcrum associated with bearing 33 is on the order of about 5.
In the adjusting member of the presently preferred shower head, outlet opening 54 has a diameter of0.650 inch and an axial extent of 0.080 t 0. l 5 inch. The angle of divergence of shoulder surface 56 from the axis of bore 12 has a preferred value of 62, which value is within the preferred range of to 64 inclusive, for optimum performance of the shower head when the adjusting member is in its fully extended position along thsn zzleassqmblx s d am s b r 12 is 1.010 10.005 inch. In view of the preferred value of the angle of shoulder surface 56 and the above-mentioned range of values for this angle, the length of cavity 53 subtended by the shoulder surface is 0.096 i0.008 inch. The cooperation between setscrew 57 and groove 58 is defined so that when the setscrew is abutted with the forward end of the groove, the distance from the front face 47 of stem head portion 36 to the outer end of the axial extent of adjusting member outlet opening 54 is about 1.980 imglgs The adjusting member has conical grip portion 52, which increases in diameter proceeding to the front end of the shower head, to facilitate easy and secure engagement of the member by a wet or soapy hand of a user for ready and convenient adjustment of the shower head discharge characteristic during use. It will be understood, however, that adjusting member external configurations other than conical may be used as desired without departing from this invention.
An annular face plate 63 is engaged between the outer surfaces of the sleeve and grip portions of the adjusting member at its forward end to close the space between these portions of the member and to impart a pleasing appearance to the shower head.
Workers skilled in the art to which this invention pertains will recognize that the foregoing description has been presented with reference to the shower head which is presently preferred for the purposes of explanation and best present example. Such workers will appreciate that certain of the features, relations and proportions described above may be varied or altered while still realizing the benefits and advantages provided by the shower head as shown and described. Accordingly, the foregoing description is not exhaustive of all forms which a shower head of this invention may take, and should not be regarded as limiting the scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A shower head comprising 1. a nozzle assembly including a. a body adapted to be connected to a source of water, and
b. a stem rotatably mounted substantially coaxially through oneend of the body and defining orifice means for discharging a plurality of individual water streams;
2. a discharge adjusting member defining a central cavity having a. an outlet opening of diameter greater than theportion of the stem defining the orifice means, the outlet opening having a definite extent axially of the cavity, which extent is manytimes smaller than the diameter of the outlet opening,
b. an elongate major diameter portion within which at least the one end of the nozzle assembly body is disposed, and
c. a conical shoulder surface formed concave away from the outlet opening and extending from the inner end of the axial extent of the outlet opening to the adjacent end of the major diameter portion; and
3. means mounting the adjusting member around the nozzle assembly for movement coaxially relative to the nozzle assembly into and out of modulating engagement with the water streams by the surfaces of said cavity, the adjusting member being movable relative to the nozzle assembly between a first position in which the adjusting member outlet opening is disposed sufficiently proximate the one end of the body for passage of the streams from the orifice means without contact with the adjusting member, and a second position in which the streams engage the major diameter portion of the adjusting member cavity at a location spaced along the cavity from the conical shoulder surface.
2. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein said location is about half the distance from the orifice means to the adjusting member outlet opening.
3. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the cavity outlet opening, major diameter portion and shoulder surface are disposed in coaxial alignment.
4, A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the included angle between the cavity shoulder surface and the axis of the outlet opening is in the range of from about 60 to about 64 inclusive.
5. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the ratio of the axial extent of the outlet to the diameter of the outlet opening is in the range from of about 0.100 to about 0.146 inclusive.
6. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the ratio of the axial extent of the cavity outlet opening to the distance from the outer end of the outlet opening to the surface of the stem through which the orifice means are defined, when the adjusting member is in its second position relative to the nozzle assembly, is in the range of from about 0.033 to about 0.048 inclusive.
7. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the ratio of the diameter of the cavity outlet opening to the diameter of the cavity major diameter portion is in the range of from about 0.640 to about 0.646 inclusive.
8. A shower head according to claim 1 wherein the ratio of the axial extent of the cavity outlet opening to the axial extent of the cavity subtended by the cavity shoulder surface is in the range of from about 0.625 to about 1.080 inclusive.
9. A shower head accordingto claim 1 wherein the ratio of the diameter of the cavity major diameter portion to the distance along the cavity from the surface of the stern through which the orifice means are defined to the proximate end of the conical shoulder surfrom about 0.545 to about 0.575 inclusive.
mg UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,791584 Dated February 12,1974
lnvenq fl John Drew, Robert F. Bentley It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shownvbelow:
' Column 1, line l4, after the word "shower" insert "head- Column 4, line 46, the word "grooves" should 'be "groove".
Column 6, line 24, should read r-about 1.980 0.015 inches."
Column 8, line 3, claim 5, after "outlet' insert "opening";
Signed and sealed "this 11th day of June 1971;.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. v c. MARSHALL mun Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents
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|U.S. Classification||239/237, 239/383, 239/456|
|International Classification||B05B3/00, B05B3/04, B05B1/08, B05B7/04, B05B1/12|
|Cooperative Classification||B05B3/00, B05B3/0427, B05B1/12, B05B1/083, B05B3/008, B05B7/0425, B05B3/0445|
|European Classification||B05B3/00J, B05B1/12, B05B3/04C2H1, B05B7/04C1, B05B3/00, B05B1/08A, B05B3/04C2H5|
|Aug 16, 1982||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: RAIN JET CORP., 27671 LAPAZ RD. LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:IRRIGATION ENGINEERING AND MANUFACTURING CO., BY: JOHN DREW; JOHN O. HRUBY, JR. ; GERALD W. FRASIER, PARTNERS;REEL/FRAME:004026/0088
Effective date: 19820719