US 3801018 A
A shower head having a series of circumferentially spaced holes for delivering water to a supply chamber closed by a directional control valve. The control valve has a series of angularly arranged holes for producing water jets directed to impinge upon a grooved surface of a diffuser. The diffuser is mounted on a spindle which passes through the control valve into the body of the shower head. The diffuser has a diameter selected to define a narrow gap within the shower head from where a water mixture is discharged. Emollients, oils, soap or other scented materials are introduced by an injector through the shower head into a mixing chamber between the control valve and the rotary diffuser. Parallel grooves at the discharge end of the shower head deliver the water mixture in the form of shower producing water droplets.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Plotz [451 Apr. 2, 1974 1 SHOWER HEAD  Inventor: Robert G. Plotz, 357 Middlegate Dr., Bethel Park, Pa. 15102 22 Filed: Aug. 4, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 278,065
 US. Cl 239/316, 4/145, 239/383  Int. Cl B05b 7/04  Field of Search 239/310, 315, 316, 318, 239/383; 4/145  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,568,716 3/1971 Heitzman 239/383 X 2,743,913 5/1956 Gundlach 239/315 X 2,878,066 3/1959 Erwin 239/383 3,049,303 8/1962 Kocher 239/316 X 3,091,402 5/1963 Palmer 239/315 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant ExaminerMichael Y. Mar Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Brown, Murray, Flick &
Peckham ABSTRACT A shower head having a series of circumferentially spaced holes for delivering water to a supply chamber closed by a directional control valve. The control valve has a series of angularly arranged holes for producing water jets directed to impinge upon a grooved surface of a diffuser. The diffuser is mounted on a spindle which passes through the control valve into the body of the shower head. The diffuser has a diameter selected to define a narrow gap within the shower head from where a water mixture is discharged. Emollients, oils, soap or other scented materials are introduced by an injector through the shower head into a mixing chamber between the control valve and the rotary diffuser. Parallel grooves at the discharge end of the shower head deliver the water mixture in the form of shower producing water droplets.
- 6 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures SHOWER HEAD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an apparatus for producing a continuous stream of water droplets for a shower bath or the like. More particularly, the present invention relates to an apparatus for producing both an aerated water shower and a blending or emulsifying action with additives preferably introduced into the apparatus in a liquid form.
In the past, toilet preparations, skin oils, hair rinse preparations, water softeners including liquid preparations for hydrothermal treatment were limited in their use to the extent that they could not be employed with a shower bath. The actual benefit of such preparations in many instances could not be fully realized. For example, certain emollients, such as body oils and scented liquids, are designed for use only at the conclusion of a bath and requires the use of substantial quantities of these preparations over that which would be required if, for example, an emulsion was produced of these substances by a shower head during the final 30-40 seconds of a shower bath.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved shower head for discharging a mixture or emulsion of a liquid additive to form a stream of droplets which are aerated to produce a bubble effect on the skin of the user.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a shower head and an ejector system therefor to mix or emulsify emollient agents introduced into the shower head.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a construction of parts arranged in a shower head to define a mixing chamber where liquid additives are mixed and emulsified with water for a shower bath.
According to one form of the present invention, there is provided a shower head for a water supply pipe which delivers water through an internal passageway formed in the shower head to a pressure chamber enclosed by a directional control valve. The shower head includes a tubular body closed at one end to support an axially arranged spindle within the shower head. A diffuser, rotatably mounted on the spindle, has an impeller end surface arranged for the impingement of water streams developed by the control valve. The diffuser forms a narrow gap within the shower head to define a chamber for mixing or emulsifying agents injected into the chamber through the shower head. A supply tank is connected to an injection passageway formed in the head.
These features and advantages of the present invention as well as others will become more apparent when the following description is read in light of the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view, partly in section, of a shower head embodying the features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along line lI-II of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view taken along line III- III of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line IV-IV of FIG. 1.
With reference to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a shower head assembly which includes a tubular-shaped body 10 having a reduced diameter neck 11. The neck 11 has an internal bore 12 and external threads 13 for attachment to a ball joint assembly 14. This assembly includes an adaptor 15 having a threaded internal end for connection to a water supply pipe, not shown. At its other end, the adaptor 15 is formed with a spherical surface 16 that is drawn tightly against a seal 17 by a collar 18 that engages the threads 13 on the neck 11. A passageway 19 in the assembly 14 delivers water through the bore 12 to a series of circumferentially spaced supply holes 21 formed in an end wall 22 as clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.
A spindle 23 has a threaded end for engaging a tapped hole in the wall 22. The spindle is arranged coaxially within the tubular-shaped shower head 10. Holes 21 communicate with a water supply chamber 24 which is enclosed by a directional control valve 26. A collar 27 on the spindle supports an O-ring 28 for urging conical-shaped edge surfaces 29 on the valve into a seating engagement with complementary-shaped surfaces formed within the end wall 22. The O-ring forms a water-tight seal to enclose a gap formed where the spindle passes through the valve.
The control valve, as best shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, has a plurality of orifices 31 arranged in a circumferentially spaced-apart relation and extending through the valve at an angle to spindle 23. FIGS. 1 and 4 illustrate a diffuser head 32 having a conical-shaped end 33 into which there is formed a series of spiral-shaped grooves 34. The diffuser 32 is rotatably mounted on the spindle 23 for limited axial displacement determined by the position of an adjusting nut 35 positioned on a threaded end of the spindle 23. The adjusting nut is located on the spindle to establish a predetermined gap, for example, 1/16 inch between the diffuser 32 and the collar 27. After this gap is established, a locking screw 37 serves to maintain this position.
As previously indicated, the shower head 10 is tubular-shaped. The internal surface of the shower head is actually tapered at a rate, for example, of 3/8 inch per foot such that the internal diameter of the body 10 reduces to a minimum inwardly of the shower head. A series of tapered, parallel grooves 39 areformed at the extreme end within the bore of the shower head.
It is important for a successful operation of the shower head according to the present invention that a narrow gap should be formed between the diffuser and the inside surface of the body of the shower head. Various tests have established that a 0.080 to 0.090 inch gap when employing a 1% inch diameter diffuser will produce good results. The selection of this gap is important so that the distance from the control valve to the discharge end of the diffuser defines a mixing chamber. The liquid discharged from this chamber through the gap must be such so as to present a solid wall of liquid to prevent the entrance of air into the mixing chamber. A drilled hole 41 is provided in the shower head adjacent the neck 11 at an angle to the spindle 23. The hole 41 receives a tube 42 formed as an integral part of an injector reservoir 43.
In the operation of the present invention, water is delivered through the ball joint assembly 14 into the shower head where it passes through supply holes 21 and then into the chamber 24 where a pressure is developed against the control valve 26. The orifices 31 in the control valve form jets of water that vary in pressure according to the water pressure delivered to the shower head. It will be noted, however, that the chamber 24 assures that throughout a given range of water pressure, that a sufficient volume of water is available to produce water jets. The water jets are directed at an angle to the spindle 23 such that they strike the grooves 34 on the conical surface 33 of the diffuser 32. This delivers a torque to the diffuser that rotates it upon the spindle 23. As the diffuser rotates, it is restricted to limited displacement along the spindle to different positions, thus changing the gap between the diffuser to a very slight extent due to the tapered bore in the shower head. Ernollients, preferably in liquid form, are introduced into theinjector from where they pass through the reduced diameter tube 42 into the mixing chamber formed in the shower head as previously defined. Within this chamber, the emollients, are mixed and blended with the water to form an emulsion that passes from the chamber through the gap formed between the diffuser and the shower head. It has been found that the body of water discharged from the mixing chamber is in'a relatively turbulent state but free of aeration. The aeration of the water is believed to occur as the turbulent body of water strikes the parallel grooves 39. Such an aeration of the water mixture has an amazing effect for producing suds when soap-like products are introduced in the injector. One such product which has been tested with a great degree of success, is sold under the trade name of SHOWER 2,000 manufactured by Bonnie Bell Co. of Lakewood, Ohio. This product is described as containing a cleanser, scent and bubbles. Another product which has been successfully tested is sold under the trade name ofMOlSTURELLE" manufactured by Bristol-Myers.
Although the invention has been shown in connection with a certain specific embodiment, it will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes in form and arrangement of parts may be made to suit requirements without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1 claim as my invention:
l. A shower head apparatus of the type for use in combination with means for delivering a controlled water supply, said apparatus comprising:
a shower head including tubular-shaped walls joined with an end wall to define a hollow internal chamber,
means including a directional control valve in said end wall for discharging at least one stream of water into said internal chamber,
diffuser means having a generally smooth wall surface arranged in said chamber to form a water discharge gap with said tubular-shaped walls, said dif fuser means including impeller surfaces defined on a generally conically shaped surface thereof extending toward said end wall.
a spindle rotatably supporting said diffuser for impinging contact with said stream of water at a spaced relation from said end wall, and
reservoir means communicating with said chamber at a location between said diffuser and said end wall.
2. A shower head assembly according to claim 1 wherein said directional control valve includes a plurality of water discharge orifices extending in an angular direction with respect to said spindle.
3. A shower head assembly according to claim 2 wherein said impeller surfaces are arranged on said diftimer for impinging contact by said streams of water.
4. An apparatus according to claim 3 wherein, said impeller surfaces are further defined as spirallyarranged grooves formed in said conical-shaped surface.
5. An apparatus according to claim 4 further comprising parallel grooves formed in said tubular-shaped walls of said shower head.
6. An apparatus according to claim 5 further comprising means in said end wall for supporting said spindle, seating surfaces in said end wall for receiving said directional control valve, and means carried by said spindle for urging said directional control valve into engagement with said seating surfaces.