US 3826429 A
An adjustable shower head in which a spray forming member having sealing properties is recessed into a groove in the body member of the shower head.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
O Umted States Patent [1 1 [111 3,826,429 Moen 1 July 30, 1974 ADJUSTABLE SHOWER HEAD 2,890,838 6/1959 Jannsen 239/534 1 Inventor: Alfred Moen, 25 Lakeview 313321;??? 51323 323?; "'"iiiiiiiijjiiii: 333/223 Grafton, 44044 3,547,353 12/1970 Pccka 239/400 Filed: p 23 3,617,002 11/1971 Symmons 239/460 PP N05 353,734 Primary Examiner-Lloyd L. King Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Kinzer, Plyer, Dorn &  US. Cl. 239/460 McEachran  Int. Cl BOSb 1/32 of Search An adjustable shower head in which a spray forming [5 References Cited member having sealing properties is recessed into a groove in the member Of the shower head.
1.863.548 6/1932 Bloch 239/460 10 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures Jilin i 1 ADJUSTABLE SHOWER HEAD SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to shower heads and in particular to improvements in an adjustable shower head in which the spray forming member is a separate replaceable part formed of a material having sealing properties.
One purpose of the present invention is a shower head of the type described which eliminates at least one seal utilized in former shower heads of this general type.
Another purpose is an adjustable shower head in which the body is of one-piece molded construction.
Another purpose is an adjustable shower head in which the sealing members pressure balance the movable portions of the shower head.
Another purpose is a shower head of the type described having means to prevent air being drawn inwardly into the shower head during the period that an associated tub spout is discharging water.
Another purpose is an adjustable shower head in which the movable sleeve has a smooth inside surface.
Another purpose is a shower head which is vandal proof.
Other purposes will appear in the ensuing specification, drawings and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated diagrammatically in the following drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is an axial section through a shower head of the type described,
FIG. 2 is a partial axial section showing a modified form of the invention,
FIG. 3 is a similar partial axial section showing yet a further modification of the invention,
FIG. 4 is a partial vertical section illustrating a modified form of spray forming member in one position, and
FIG. 5 is an axial section, similar to FIG. 4, but illustrating the spray forming member of FIG. 4 in a second position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 a generally elongated tubular body member is indicated at and may have an upstream end 12 and a downstream end 14 which is closed by an integral web 16. Adjacent the downstream end 14 are a pair of slots 18 which form discharge openings for the body member 10.
At the upstream end 12 there is a ball member 20 having an internally threaded tool receiving area 22 for use in connecting the ball member.20 toa conventional water pipe. The ball member 20 has an internal water passage, not shown, which discharges water through a flattened end portion 24 into the interior of the body member 10.
Near the upstream end 12 of the body member 10 there is a groove 26 within which is seated a split ring or snap ring 28. The snap ring 28 has an internal diameter slightly less than the major diameter of the spherical shaped ball member 20 so that when the ball member has been positioned within the body member 10 and the snap ring 28 positioned in its groove 26, the ball member and body member will be fixed together in a manner which will permit relative pivotal movement between the two parts, but prevent disassembly.
A seal member 30 is positioned between the exterior of the ball member 20 and the interior wall of the body member 10 to seal the upstream end of the body member-The seal 30 is held in position by a ring 32 which in turn is biased upwardly against the seal member by a coil spring 34. The lower end of the coil spring is seated upon a collar 36 which in turn is supported within the body member by means of an internal shoulder 38. Thus, the collar 36 and the shoulder 38 are fixed in position within the body member and in turn support the spring 34 which places an upward bias on the ring 32 and hence the seal 30.
Slidably mounted on the exterior of the body member 10 is a sleeve 40 having a generally constant internal diameter and a slightly tapered exterior. A seal ring 42, positioned within a groove 44 adjacent the discharge openings 18 in the body member, seals the external surface of the body member and the internal surface of the sleeve 40.
A handle 46 is effective to slidably move the sleeve 40 upon the body member 10. The handle 46 may have an internal bore 48 receiving a pin 50. The pin 50 has its left-hand end 52 rotatably mounted within a circular opening 54 in the internal surface of the body member 10, with a portion 51 of the pin 50 being positioned within a circular opening 56 in the right-hand side of the body member 10. A seal 58, recessed into the pin 50, is effective to prevent water leaking through the opening 56. The central portion of the pin 50, indicated at 60, is positioned within the body member 10 in the path of water flowing from the upstream end to the downstream end. When the handle 46 is rotated, its cam surface 62, positioned within an opening 64 in the sleeve 40, is effective to cause reciprocal movement of the sleeve relative to the body member 10.
At the lower end of the body member 10 is a recess or groove 66 within which is mounted a spray forming member 68. The spray forming member may have external axially extending grooves which form various angles with the axis of the body member 10 so as to provide a plurality of individual discharge sprays at differing angles. Such grooves are shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,384,307. The spray forming member 68 is formed of a sealing material such as rubber or one of the common rubber substitutes. Thus, the outside surface of the spray forming member form a seal with the interior surface of the sleeve 40 when the shower head is in the position of FIG. 2. In this connection, FIG. 1 shows the shower head in a position wherein it is self-cleaning in that the discharge is not a spray but a stream, since the discharge openings 18 are in a position above the grooves 70 in the spray forming member. When the shower head is in the position of FIG. 2, it will deliver a fine spray with various positions in-between causing differing amounts and angles of the spray discharge.
The internal peripheral surface 72 of groove 66 may have a plurality of small serrations 74 to permit distortion of the sealing material of the spray forming member 68 when the seal is under compression as it would be in the position of FIG. 2.
It should be noted that the seal ring 42 and the spray forming member 68, both formed of sealing material, have generally the same outer diameter. Thus, when the shower head is in the position of FIG. 2, the water pressures applied upwardly upon the seal 42 and downwardly upon the spray forming member 68 are equal and opposite, thus balancing the relative positions of the sleeve 40 and the body member and preventing any movement between these two parts due to internally generated water pressures.
In the modification of FIG. 2, the discharge openings 18 have been masked by a flexible ring 76 which can be expanded, under the influence of water pressure, to permit water to be discharged in the conventional manner through the spray grooves 70. Of advantage, however, in the use of the ring 76 is that when the shower head is used in combination with a bathtub spout discharge, no air can be drawn inwardly through the discharge openings 18 and down to the spout discharge which, in the past, has created an undesirable noise at the shower head.
In the modification of FIG. 3, a wobble-plate 78 is positioned within the area of the body member adjacent the discharge openings 18 and has a tapering outer peripheral surface 80. The wobble member 78 is supported on a pin 82 which may for example be formed of a ceramic material and which is fixed to a plate 84 and a screw 86. The screw 86 is supported by the web 16 and is adjustable by means of a nut 88 having an outer knurled surface 90.
In operation of the device in FIG. 3, the position of the wobble-plate 78 is controlled by the knob 88 and the screw 86. When the wobble-plate is not to be used, it is withdrawn into the recess 92 formed adjacent the web 16. When the wobble-plate 78 is in the position of FIG. 3, water being discharged downwardly through the body member 10 will cause the'plate to oscillate about its point support 82, thus causing a pulsating discharge through the .openings 18.
The position of the wobble-plate 78 may be controlled within the body member 10 by a sleeve 94, which may be an extension of the collar 36.
The modification of FIGS. 4 and 5 shows the spray forming member 98 as having a series of grooves 100 similar to the grooves 70. Whereas the spray forming member 68 shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 had the grooves 70 terminating at the lower end of the spray forming member, the spray forming member 98 of FIGS. 4 and 5 has similar grooves 100 terminating at a point spaced from the bottom of the spray forming member. There may be grooves 104 which extend inward from the point of termination of the grooves 100. Thus the grooves 104 may have what is termed a negative angle and when the spray forming member is in the position of FIG. 4, the water discharge will be basically a cylinder, extending in an axial direction, with a few inwardly directed sprays, as shown in FIG. 4, caused by the grooves 104. When the sleeve has been moved to the position of FIG. 5, the groove 104 has no effect and thus the spray discharge will be a series of cones having gradually increasing diameters. The water discharge from the shower head will follow the direction of its last defined path. Thus, the position of the spray forming member relative to the sleeve and the arrangement of the spray grooves can be used to vary the type of spray pattern.
Of importance in the invention is the use of a spray forming member formed of a sealing material. In previous shower heads of this general type, the spray forming member was integral with the body member and a separate seal recessed into the exterior of the sleeve was necessary in order to provide a complete seal between the sleeve and the body member at the point of discharge.
Also of importance is the manner in which the body member is attached to the ball member to provide for pivotal movement between the shower head and the fixed water conduit. In prior art constructions it was necessary to have an internally threaded nut positioned on the body member adjacent the ball member to attach the body to the ball. In the present instance, such a nut is eliminated by the use of a split ring 28 which in turn holds the ball in position within the body member. In this same connection, the spring 34 provides the bias for maintaining a complete seal at the upstream end of the body member 10.
The body member 10 is a single element which can be conveniently molded of a plastic material. The external sleeve 40, also a single element, may be plastic or metal, or it may be plastic which is plated with a metal to give it a particular decorative appearance. The sleeve 40 has a smooth internal surface advantageous in forming the sleeve by a molding process.
The use of the expandable ring 76 is particularly advantageous in that it eliminatesundesirable noise at the tub spout in a combination shower-tub installation. The ring is sufficiently expandable so that it does not hinder the discharge of water through the shower head, but it does prevent air from being drawn into the shower head when the spout is discharging water.
There are many instances in which a pulsating shower discharge has been found to have certain therapeutic effects. The present invention adds an oscillating plate to the shower head discharge to provide a pulsating effect in the water discharge. The oscillating plate 78 is mounted on a ceramic pin 82 and may have a ceramic plate embedded therein to prevent wear affecting the life of the wobble-plate. The sleeve 94 prevents the plate from turning over within the body member and maintains the wobble-plate in proper disposition for use in providing a pulsating discharge.
In assembly, after pin 50 is inserted in the body 10, collar 36 is positioned within the body. Next, spring 34 is seated on the collar 36. The combination of ball 20 and ring 32 and seal 30, positioned at the downstream end of the ball 20, is then inserted inside of the body 10 and pushed against the spring 34. After the ball has been moved inside of the body 10 a sufficient distance, snap ring 28 is positioned within groove 26, thus securing the body member to the ball 20. The one-piece body, the one-piece sleeve and the handle are all fixed together and no part of the assembly can be removed unless the entire shower head is removed from its supporting conduit. To this extent the shower head is vandalproof.
The spray former 68, being formed of a sealing material and therefore distortable, can be removed from the groove 66 for cleaning purposes. Thus, the shower head may be serviced and the spray forming member cleaned or replaced without the shower head ever being removed from the water conduit.
Whereas the preferred form of the invention has been shown and described herein, it should be realized that there may be many modifications, substitutions and alterations thereto.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. In an adjustable shower head, anelongated generally tubular body member, a ball member at the upstream end of said body member and means for pivotally attaching the body member to the ball member, a sleeve movably mounted on the exterior of said body member, an annular groove adjacent the downstream end of said body member, a separate spray forming member formed of a yielding distortable material removably recessed into said groove, water discharge openings in said body member upstream of said spray forming member, the interior of said sleeve being in sliding contact with the exterior of said spray forming member to vary the discharge therefrom.
2. The structure of claim 1 further characterized by and including a seal member positioned about the exterior of said body member upstream of said water discharge openings and forming a seal between the interior of said sleeve and the exterior of said body member, the exterior diameter of said seal member and said spray forming member being generally the same to pressure balance the relative positions of the sleeve and body member.
3. The structure of claim 1 further characterized in that the means for pivotally attaching the body member to the ball member includes a ring recessed into the interior of the body member adjacent its upstream end, said ring having an interior diameter less than the greatest diameter of the ball member and a spring positioned within said body member and urging said ball member 6 against said ring.
4. The structure of claim 3 further characterized by and including a seal ring positioned between the interior of the body member and the ball member, said spring urging said seal ring into sealing contact with said ball member and body member.
5. The structure of claim 3 further characterized by and including a collar positioned within the body member and forming a seat for said spring.
6. The structure of claim 5 further characterized by and including a shoulder on the interior of said body member, said collar being seated on said shoulder.
7. The structure of claim 1 further characterized by and including an expandable ring surrounding said body member and masking said discharge openings.
8. The structure of claim 1 further characterized in that the spray forming member has a plurality of outwardly extending exterior grooves formed at varying angles to the axis of the shower head to provide differing spray patterns.
9. The structure of claim 8 further characterized in that said outwardly extending exterior grooves terminate in spaced relation to one end of the spray forming member.
10. The structure of claim 9 further characterized by and including inwardly extending grooves in theexterior of said spray forming member beginning in spaced relation to one end of said spray forming member.