|Publication number||US3806963 A|
|Publication date||Apr 30, 1974|
|Filing date||Jun 10, 1971|
|Priority date||Jun 10, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3806963 A, US 3806963A, US-A-3806963, US3806963 A, US3806963A|
|Original Assignee||C Flynn|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (8), Referenced by (21), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Flynn ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SHOWER UNIT  Inventor: Charles D. Flynn, 2590 lngraham,
San Diego, Calif. 92109  Filed: June 10, 1971  Appl. No.: 151,755
 US. Cl. 4/145  Int. Cl A47k 3/22, B05b 1/00  Field of Search 4/145, 146, 148, 152, 155, 4/ 156  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,616,466 ll/l97l Davis 4/l45 2,697,839 12/1954 Jackson 4/145 1,982,509 11/1934 Frank 4/145 X 2,496,520 2/1950 Daniel 4/145 X 2,598,092 5/1952 Alvey 4/145 2,685,093 8/1954 Lundquist... 4/145 3,005,995 10/1961 Bickford 4/145 3,048,851 8/1962 Bickford 4/l45 Apr. 30, 1974 Primary Examinerl-lenry K. Artis ABSTRACT An adjustable fixture for fluid connections, such as shower heads. The fixture includes a plate member with a vertical slot. A fluid connector is mounted on one side of the slot and secured to traveler means mounted on the opposite side of the slot The traveler means also mounts the ends of a pair of elongated tapes which have a spring bias toward assuming a coiled configuration. The free ends of the tapes are coiled around a pair of shafts mounted adjacent the ends of the plate member. The tape is also biased across its narrow dimension to form a curved configuration, and acts as a spring bias means, holding the fluid connector in contact with the outer surface of the plate member adjacent the slot. The bias to the curved configuration also acts to engage the edges of the tape with the plate adjacent either side of the slot,
9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures wJI'Er-mMm B W INVENTOR. CHARLES D. FLYNN BY @"mm ATTORNEYSYY ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT SHOWER UNIT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It has long been recognized that it would be desirable to provide for adjustment of shower heads and other fluid dispensing heads and fluid connections. The shower head for example, is normally fixed at a given distance above the floor level and therefore is optimumly placed only for persons of one height. Persons of a greater or lesser stature than that selected for the fixed installation receive unsatisfactory results from using this type of installation. The deficiencies of this type of installation are particularly apparent when such showers are utilized by small children whose height may be as little as one-half of a full grown adult.
For the foregoing reasons, vertically adjustable shower heads have been proposed in the past. These devices have been unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. Many of the prior art adjustable shower heads were excessively complicated and expensive or required excessive modifications to existing bathroom installations for their use. Additionally, these units frequently did not provide for' an attractive installation, and were subject to failures resulting from corrosion and other accumulation of foreign materials. Thus it would be desirable if an inexpensive, vertically adjustable, shower headunit could be developed that would provide an attractive and long lasting installation with protection against the accumulation of foreign matter within the mechanism, and with provision for its use either as a new installation or as an add-on installation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An exemplary embodiment of the invention incorporates a member consisting of a flat plate having a longitudinal slot therein. The slot may be of a length tailored to the installation and for example may merely be of sufficient length to provide for adjustment of ashower head, or may be long enough to permit the shower head to be lowered to the proximity of the floor, for washing of feet, for example. A fluid connector means that carries the shower head is mounted through the longitudinal slot, and has a shoulder that bears against the plate on eitherside of the slot. The portion of the fluid connector means extending through the slot is secured by a threaded member to traveler means which is mounted for movement along the slot and includes bearings to reduce the force necessary to move the combination up and down along the slot. Also secured to the traveler are tape means, that may be in one or two lengths, having two free ends which are coiled around shafts mounted beyond the vertical extremes of the slot and perpendicular to the slots long dimension. The tape is of the variety which has a resilient bias toward the coiled configuration, such as, those tapes commonly used in carpentry for measurement. The tape also has a bias to a curved configuration across its narrow dimension. This tendency to assume a curved configuration ensures a good seal along the length of the slot to prevent the entrance to the interior of the mechanism, of excessive moisture or foreign material. The seal comprises a line contact between the opposed edges of the tape and the plate on either side of the slot. The traveler, through its connection withthe fluid connector means, forces the tape to assume a less curved configuration in the immediate area of the traveler, and
thus the tape imparts a bias to the traveler and fluid connector means, causing adjustable frictional contact between the fluid connector means shoulder, and the plate. The traveler also mounts a fluid coupler for connection to a flexible hose member that conveys the water, or other fluid, from external plumbing, through the traveler and fluid connector, and out the shower head or other downstream apparatus. The flexible hose is of sufficient length to allow the traveler to move to the extremes of the slot, and has its other end secured to a second fluid coupling, mounted on the housing for the fixture.
The housing may comprise sides, secured directly to the base plate and top, bottom and back plates in a separate unit, carrying the plumbing fluid connection. This configuration is particularly adaptable to use with existing shower installations. The plumbing connection is secured to the original shower outlet and the housing bears against the shower wall. A second housing configuration is adapted for use in new installations and includes a shell for installation in a conventional wall construction. The plate in this configuration is sized to extend over the opening in the shower wall and be sealed by caulking or other sealing material. With either housing installation a drain hole at the lower portion of the apparatus is provided to direct the water accumulating in the housing back into the shower area.
The design of the fixture of the'invention makes installation and use especially easy. The installation of the add-on unit comprising merely threading, or otherwise connecting the fluid plumbing connection to the existing plumbing. After the unit is secured against the shower wall, the shower head may be rotated a sufficient number of turns to create a frictional bias by the flattening of the curved tape. This frictional engagement is selected to be one which is sufficient to prevent the shower head from falling under its own weight, but which is insufficiently strong to make the movement of the shower head difficult.
Installation of the unit designed' for new construction is similar, but requires the mounting of the box unit in the wall prior to finishing of a wall structure. The fixtureis then mounted within the box and secured thereto. Adjustment of the shower head proceeds in the same manner as with the add-on embodiment.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit which is relatively low in cost and easy to manufacture.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit with protection against the accumulation of foreign materials within the body of the apparatus.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and-improved adjustable height shower unit with a visual seal to prevent the user from seeing within the body of the apparatus.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit which incorporates biased, elongated tapes for the sealing function.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit which utilizes an adjustable tape with a bias toward a curved cross section configuration to provide means for frictional engagement with the body of the apparatus.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit which is susceptible to use with new or existing installations.
It is another object of the invention to provide a new and improved adjustable height shower unit which provides for draining off of excess water from within the unit.
Other objects and many attendant advantages of the invention will be apparent from a reading of the following detailed description together with the drawings in which like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the complete unit.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 33 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of an alternative structure for flush mounting in a wall.
Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated an adjustable height shower unit which includes the member 12 incorporating an elongated slot 18 and side members 19 and 21. A fluid connector member 14 is shown associated with the slot and mounts a shower head 16. A housing 20 cooperates with the member 12 and includes a back plate 23, top plate 25, and bottom plate 27. The slot is visually sealed above and below the fluid connector by tape portions 22 and 24. The free ends of the tape members are coiled around shafts 38 and 40 at opposite vertical extremes of the interior of the mechanism. The tape is of the variety which has a bias towards the coiled configuration, and therefore, as the shower head is moved up and down, the tape coils and uncoils in response.
At the junction between the two tape portions there is a traveler 26 which is connected by a threaded member 28 to the fluid coupling 14 and rides on a plurality of bearings 54 along either side of the elongated slot.
The tape member is biased toward a curved configuration across its narrow dimension, as can best be seen in FIG. 3, and with proper spacing between the fluid connector 14 and traveler 26, provides a resilient bias causing the fluid connector to frictionally contact the member 12 on either side of the slot. This frictional contact may be varied by rotation of the shower head and fluid coupler. The bias to a curved cross sectional configuration also serves to cause the tape to form a line contact along substantially the entire length of the slot to prevent the entrance to the interior of the housing of excess moisture or foreign matter.
The traveler mounts a fluid coupler 30 through a resilient and sealing O-ring 31. The O-ring prevents water from escaping through the traveler and adds to the resilient biasing effect of the tape. The fluid coupler is connected to a flexible hose 32. The hose is of sufficient length to permit the movement of the traveler to the extremes of the slot. The opposite end of the hose is connected to a second fluid coupler 34 which is mounted on the housing and carries a connection 36 to provide for connection with the standard household plumbing. The bottom plate 27 includes a drain hole 42 to prevent the accumulation of water which may enter the housing through the lower portion of the tape.
Referring now to FIG. 4, there is illustrated a modified form of the invention which is particularly adapted for use with new installations. The member including the elongated slot comprises a decorative face plate 44. The face plate 44 carries brackets 48 and 50 to mount the shafts 38 and 40 for coiling the tape member. A housing 46 completely encloses the mechanism and connections, and is secured within the wall structure 47. Water is supplied to the apparatus through household plumbing 52 and secondary fluid coupling 54. Water accumulating within the housing is directed by the sloping side 49 and exits through a drain hole 51 into the shower stall or other shower facility.
The operation of the two modifications of the invention are substantially identical. After the housing is installed either by mounting it within a newly constructed wall or by securing it to an existing plumbing outlet, the friction between the fluid coupling and the base plate is adjusted, by rotation of the shower head, to produce sufficient friction for holding the shower head securely in position while permitting movement of the shower head as desired.
After initial adjustment the shower head will stay in any position in which it is placed, and therefore all the user need do, is move the shower head to the height which is best suited for his personal stature and the nature of the use he desires.
I-laving described my invention, I now claim.
1. An adjustable fixture for fluid connections comprising:
a member having a longitudinal slot;
traveler means mounted for movement along said slot on a first side of said member;
fluid connector means mounted on the opposite side of saidmember and secured to said traveler for movement with said traveler along said slot;
at least one tape means having a first end secured to said traveler and a second end for coiling about a predetermined point;
said tape means having a spring bias toward assuming a curved configuration across the narrow dimension of said tape means for producing a line seal along either margin of said slot to prevent the admission of water and for biasing said traveler away from said slot to produce a frictional engagement and holding force on said fluid connector means, whereby said fluid connector means may be adjusted vertically and will be held in any adjusted position by a mechanism with a sealed interior.
2. The fixture of claim 1 wherein:
said tape means coils about a fixed shaft.
3. The fixture of claim 1 wherein:
said member comprises a substantially flat elongated plate means for vertical mounting;
said fluid connector comprises means for mounting a water dispensing head;
and said tape means frictionally contacts said plate means adjacent said slot over a substantial portion 8. The apparatus of claim 3 including:
drain means for carrying away, under the influence of gravity, the fluid which accumulates within said fixture.
9. The fixture of claim 3 wherein:
said tape means is mounted between said traveler means and said plate.
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|Cooperative Classification||E03C1/06, E03C1/066|
|European Classification||E03C1/06C, E03C1/06|