US 3874374 A
A hydromassage tub with jet head assemblies installed in the corners thereof, has a control panel for adjusting air intake to the various jet head assemblies, and includes an induction air control system which precludes flooding in the event any of the nozzles of the various jet head assemblies should be blocked from discharging.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Jacuzzi 5] Apr. 1, 1975  HYDROMASSAGE TUB AND AIR 3,540,438 11/1970 Jacuzzi 128/66 IN TI SYSTEM THEREFOR 3,736,924 6/1973 Jacuzzi et al. 128/66  Inventor: Roy A. Jacuzzi, Moraga, Calif.  Assignee: Jacu zzi Research, Inc., Berkeley,
 Filed: Feb. 19, 1974  Appl. No.: 443,213
 U.S. Cl. 128/66  Int. Cl A6lh 9/00  Field of Search 128/66; 4/180  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,367,325 2/1968 OKeefe 4/180 X Primary Examiner-Lawrence W. Trapp  ABSTRACT A hydromassage tub with jet head assemblies installed in the corners thereof, has a control panel for adjusting air intake to the various jet head assemblies, and includes an induction air control system which precludes flooding in the event any of the nozzles of the various jet head assemblies should be blocked from discharging.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED APR 1 I95 SHEET 1 BF 2 FIG. .1.
HYDROMASSAGEJTUB AND AIR INDUCTION SYSTEM THEREFOR My invention relates to hydromassage equipment and more particularly to a hydromessage tub and air induction system therefor.
Hydromessage equipment functions primarily by ereating a jet stream with numerous air bubbles entrained therein, such bubbles exploding upon impact of the jet stream against the body. to produce a gentle massage action, along with the impact of the water itself against the body.
Air is usually entrained in the jet stream through a pipe or tube which is exposed at one point to atmosphere, and at another point to flow of water through a nozzle to induct air into the jet stream.
In the course of using such equipment, if one should accidently or deliberately impede or block discharge of the jet stream at the nozzle, the water can back up into the air intake pipe or tube and discharge therefrom to atmosphere, and should such pipe or tube terminate at some point outside of a tub, flooding can occur.
Among the objects of my invention are:
i, To provide a novel and improved hydromassage tube and air induction system therefor;
2. To provide a novel and improved hydromassagc tub in which the capability of flooding upon blocking of discharge, is precluded;
3. To provide a novel and improved hydromassage tube and included air inductions system which is relatively quiet in operation.
Additional objects of my invention will be brought out in the following description of a preferred embodiment of the same as applied to a tub having special features, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings where;
FIG. I is a plan view of my improved hydromassage tub with my improved air induction system incorporated therein;
FIG. 2 is a schematic view depicting the general layout of the water and air systems associated with the tub of FIG 1;
FIG. 3 is a view in section through a conventional type jet head assembly;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the air induction control means of the present inventipn;
FIG. 5 is a view in section, taken in the plane 55 of FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a view in section taken in the plane 6-6 of FIG. 5.
Referring to the drawings for details of my invention, it involves a tub I of substantially rectangular shape, having a jet head assembly 3 installed in each corner thereof, the tub including side walls 5, 7 preferably of slightly greater length than the end walls 9. II. A peripheral apron l3 surrounds the tub walls in spaced relationship thereto to create a peripheral chamber, which not only houses the jet head assemblies, but also a pump 17 in one corner 18 and all piping associated with the system. Filling the tub may be from a faucet installed above in an adjacent room wall and emptying may be accomplished through a controllable drain in the floor of the tub, neither the faucet nor the drain being involved in the present invention.
Each jet head assembly may be of conventional design, such for example, as illustrated in FIG. 3, wherein a housing 19 of generally frusto-conical form having an end wall 21 at one end and amounting flange 23 at its other end, the end wall including a hollow hemispherical central portion 25 flow connecting with an axial extension 27 for connection to a source of water, and a passageway 29 at substantially right angles thereto for connection to a source of air.
A spherical component 31. swivel mounted in the hemi-spherical central portion of the end wall, has an integral axial extension 33 which, together with the spherical component, has an axial passageway 35 therethrough which is threaded for adjustable installation of a nozzle 37 which in turn, is sealed adjacent its inner end to the hemi-spherical portion by an O-ring 39, the longitudinal passageway flow connecting with the water intake extension 27 via an aligned opening 41 in the hemi-spherical central portion.
At a location in advance of the O-ring, the nozzle is provided with one or more radial openings 43 in its wall, and provision is made for flow coupling the air intake passageway 29 to the interior of the nozzle by way of these openings. Thus flow of water at a rapid rate through the nozzle will induce flow of air into the water stream to mix therewith and emerge from the nozzle as an air charged jet stream.
All four corner jet heat assemblies are supplied in parallel with water from the pump, the water being returned to the pump via a return opening 47 in the proximate comer of the tub, to which opening, the suction line of the pump is coupled.
Air control to the jet head assemblies is provided from a substantially horizontal but preferably slightly sloping panel 49 installed preferably in that corner of the tub, which houses the pump, and above the proximate jet heat assembly. Two control knobs 51, 53 are installed in this panel, one in control of the air to the jet head assemblies at one end of the tub, and the other in control of air to the other two jet heat assemblies at the opposite end, An appropriate scale or indicia 55 on the panel in association with tlhe control knobs, will enable intelligent control of the air supply to the jet head assemblies.
These two control knobs are components of an air control unit comprising a housing 57 formed of side walls, closed at one end by a floor 59 and at its other end by an end wall 60 upon which the panel 49 rests and is retained by appropriate fastening means.
Installed in and extending through the floor of the air control unit, are a pair of air tubes 61, 63, a portion of each extending outside the housing for coupling to an air line 67, 69 respectively, from which to supply air to two of the jet head assemblies and a portion of each extending within the housing.
The portion of each air tube within the housing has an opening 71 adjacent its edlge. Telescoping this end of each air tube is a rotatable cap 73 having a matching opening, which by rotation of the cap as a valve, can he made to move into and out of registry with the associated opening in the tube, and to varying degrees. Each tube and associated cap thus constitutes a valve assembly for determining permissible air intake.
Rotational adjustment of each such cap valve is remotely controlled from one of the knobs through a coupling rod 75 connecting the knob to the associated cap, whereby rotational adjustments of the knob will effect corresponding rotational adjustments of the valve cap or air intake valve.
The housing is exposed to atmosphere by way of an air intake nozzle 79 flow connecting with a side wall of the housing.
At its intake end, this air intake nozzle is of slightly increased internal diameter to provide a chamber 81 in which to house a light weight plastic ball 83 of the pingpong type, for limited movement with respect to a soft rubber lip valve seat 85 installed at the extreme end of the nozzle and with respect to which, the ball will act as a valve. The shoulder 87 formed within the nozzle by the increased internal diameter of this section and which limits the inward movement of the ball valve, is
. notched 0r eccentrically formed to permit flow of air by the ball valve, when the ball is resting against the shoulder. Thus air may be taken into the system during normal operation thereof.
However, in the event, one or more of the jet nozzles should be blocked, as by an occupant of the tub placing his hand across the nozzle, the water, which would normally discharge from the nozzle, is forced to back up into the air tube and, in the absence of the ball valve, would normally discharge through the air nozzle. However, with the ball valve installed, the water will carry the ball up against the soft rubber lip valve seat and thus seal the air intake opening of the air nozzle and thus preclude discharge of water therefrom.
The air intake nozzle being common to both air aupply systems, the one ball valve will serve to protect both systems against possible flooding of the surroundings, should any of the jet nozzles associated with either of the systems be blocked.
From the foregoing description of my invention in its preferred form, it will be apparent that the same fulfills all the objects of my invention and while I have illustrated and described the same in considerable detail, it will be apparent that the same is subject to alteration and modification without departing from the underlying principles involved, and l accordingly do not desire to be limited in my protection to the specific details illustrated and described, except as may be necessitated by the prior art.
I. A hydromassage system comprising a jet head assembly including a jet nozzle having means for connection to a source of water under pressure, means for introducing air into said nozzle in response to flow of water therethrough, said means for introducing air including an air passageway exposed at one point to atmosphere and at another point to such flow of water, and means permitting entrance of air into said air passageway and flow therethrough to such flow of water through said nozzle, and adapted to block flow of water through said air passageway in the reverse direction in the event discharge of water through said nozzle be blocked.
2. A hydromassage system in accordance with claim 1, characterized by means in said air passageway, normally only partially closing the same to permit flow of air therethrough from atmosphere toward said nozzle, but responsive to flow of water in the reverse direction, for blocking said passage to How of water therethrough in said reverse direction.
3. A hydromassage system in accordance with claim 2, characterized by said means for permitting flow in the one direction and blocking flow of water in the reverse direction, including a ball valve in said air passageway, a shoulder normally supporting said ball valve and providing a by-pass for air flow toward said nozzle, and a valve seat in said passageway to the other side of said ball valve and against which said ball valve will seat in response to flow of water in the reverse direction.
4. A hydromassage system in accordance with claim 2, characterized by an adjustable air intake valve assembly in said air passageway intermediate said nozzle and said means for permitting flow of air in the one direction and blocking flow of water in the reverse direction.
5. A hydromassage system in accordance with claim 1, characterized by said air passageway including a pair of branch passageways terminating in a section common to both branches, with said means for permitting entrance of air in the one direction and blocking flow of water in the reverse direction being located in said common section to protect both branch passageways, and an adjustable air intake valve in each of said branch passageways.
6. A hydromassage control unit for a system for independently controlling air flow to different jet head assemblies in such system, comprising a housing having side walls, a floor at one end and an end wall at the other end, a pair of air tubes extending through said floor with a portion of each air tube extending outside the housing for coupling to an air line to a jet head assembly, and a portion extending into said housing and terminating in an adjustable air intake valve assembly, an air intake nozzle mounted at one end in a wall of said housing with its other end exposed to atmosphere, and means for controlling each of said air intake valves independently of.the other from outside of said housing.
7. A hydromassage control unit in accordance with claim 6, characterized by said end wall including a panel, and a pair of control knobs, each mechanically coupled to a different one of said adjustable air intake valve assemblies for independent control of each.