US 3890656 A
A whirlpool jet assembly for bathtubs comprising a plurality of housings spaced around the outside of a bathtub. Each housing has a water inlet opening connected to a water supply pipe and an air inlet opening connected to an air supply pipe. These openings are connected to a mixing chamber in which air is mixed with the water by venturi action as it flows into the bathtub through a water outlet having a jet outlet control. The device is compact and no fittings are required.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent June 24, 1975 Mathis  WHIRLPOOL JET FOR BATHTUBS 3,396,412 8/1968 lgrancom Z/l78 X 1 1 Inventor: Cleo Mathis, Potrero -1 53211213 51133? 1533;211:313: $1131.... 4 ,155 South El Monte, callf- 91733 3,614,952 10/1971 Agnellino 4/178 x  Appl- N05 470,369 Primary ExaminerHenry K. Artis Related Applicatkm Data Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Robert C. Comstock  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 392,046, Aug. 27,
197 3.  ABSTRACT A whirlpool jet assembly for bathtubs comprising a  g J ;g f plurality of housings spaced around the outside of a I t CI A47k 3/10 bathtub. Each housing has a water inlet opening con- E 81 173 l nected to a water supply p1pe and an an inlet opening 4/172 17 "i' 2 connected to an air supply PIPE: These openings are connected to a mixing chamber m which air is mixed d with the water by venturi action as it flows into the [5 6] References bathtub through a water outlet having a jet outlet con- UNITED STATES PATENTS trol. The device is compact and no fittings are re- 2,705,329 4/1955 Exton-Porter 4/173 quired. 2,984,261 5/1961 Kates 138/46 3,391,370 7/1968 Nash 4/180 x 5 Clams, 5 Drawmg Figures 1 a "-n mun- 4.. W11 W111: I k I. I I H k 2 l 1 l P I 1 a. g a m 1 1 37 /3 I 1 l /0 4 /5- l 37 6 iill, M 1' 1 WHIRLPOOL JET FOR BATHTUBS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 392,046 filed Aug. 27, 1973.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to a whirlpool jet outlet for bathtubs which may also be used in therapy tanks, therapy pools, swimming pools and the like.
2. Description of the Priot Art There are a number of whirlpool jet outlets and outlet structures on the market at the present time, all of which are relatively complex in their structure, installation and operation. They are not readily adaptable to various types of installations and environments. The water outlets of such devices customarily protrude a substantial distance into the bathtub, which is unsightly, is likely to result in accidents and injury and is generally undesirable.
Previous devices have also required the use of T- fittings to connect the air and/or water to the outlet, which is costly in both materials and labor.
Previous devices have a further disadvantage in that no provision is made for full or complete drainage of the water supply pipes through the water outlets.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a whirlpool jet which is an improvement over the prior art because of its extreme simplicity of structure, installation and operation.
Another advantage of the invention is that the structure is compact and the outlet does not protrude a substantial distance into the tub or tank.
The invention provides a whirlpool jet outlet which can be equally and easily installed on any existing tub, tank or pool. It is universal and is automatically self adjusting to varying thicknesses of wall structure.
In my previous application and in prior art devices, it was necessary to use a T-fitting to connect the air (and sometimes the water) to the outlet. Installing these T-fittings is costly in both labor and materials. With the present invention, all water and air pipe connections are made directly to the fitting, and all T- fittings are eliminated.
Because of its simplicity of structure, installation and operation, it is more economical than existing devices and can be manufactured, sold and installed at a substantially low price.
The invention also provides an outlet which is completely self-draining. so that when it is no longer in use, all water is drained from the water supply pipe out through the outlets and into the tub.
It is accordingly among the objects of the invention to provide a whirlpool jet outlet for bathtubs and the like having all of the advantages and benefits set forth above and which are provided by the structure described in detail hereinafter in this specification.
The invention also comprises such other objects, advantages and capabilities as will later more fully appear and which are inherently possessed by the invention.
While there are shown in the accompanying drawings preferred embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that the same are susceptible of modification and change without departing from the spirit of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a bottom plan view showing the whirlpool jet assembly installed on a bathtub;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of one outlet taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the same taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2',
FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the same taken on line 44 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 showing an outlet in which the air and water supply terminate.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A preferred embodiment which has been selected to illustrate my invention comprises a main body member or housing 10, which may conveniently be formed by polyvinyl chloride or other suitable material. Extending transversely through the back of the housing 10 is a water inlet opening 11 which is circular in crosssection. A divider 12 of lesser diameter disposed adjacent to the center of the water inlet opening 11 provides a pair of shoulders or abutments on its opposite sides against which the ends of a pair of sections of water supply pipe 13 abut. The pipe 13 may also be conveniently formed of polyvinyl chloride. The walls of the pipe 13 are preferably substantially equal in thickness to the thickness of the divider 12. The inner diameter of the water inlet opening 11 is only slightly larger than the outer diameter water supply pipe 13, so that they can be cemented together to form a permanent connection.
Disposed upwardly and outwardly from the water inlet opening 11 is an air inlet opening 14, which also extends transversely through the housing 10. The air inlet opening 14 is circular in cross-section and has a divider 15 of lesser diameter against which the opposite ends of a pair of sections of an air supply pipe 16 are disposed in abuting engagement. Both sections of the air supply pipe 16 are preferably cemented to the interior of the air inlet opening 14.
The housing 10 is provided adjacent its front portion with an internally screw threaded opening 17, in which is mounted the externally screw threaded shank 18 of a water outlet 19. The water outlet 19 has internal screw threading 20. Rotatably mounted within the outer portion of the outlet 19 is an externally screw threaded substantially cylindrical jet outlet control 21. The outer end of the control 21 is provided with a diametrical slot 22 which may be used to rotate the control within the outlet 19.
The jet outlet control 21 is provided with an angularly directed water channel 23, which extends completely through the control 21. Rotation of the control 21 by means of the slot 22 results in changing the orientation of the channel 23 and thereby changes the direction of flow of water into the tub.
The end of the outlet 19 has a wide annular radial flange 24. The wall 25 of the tub 38 is provided with an opening through which the outlet 19 extends, with the edges of the wall 25 being held between the flange 24 and the adjacent end of the housing 10. The flange 24 is provided with a pair of diametrically spaced openings 50 for receiving a wrench or other tool for use in installing or removing the device on a tub.
An annular groove 30 is provided within the outlet 19 for holding an annular resilient bushing 31, which forms a watertight sealing engagement with the inside of the opening in the wall 25 to prevent water leakage.
An air passage 32 extends vertically downwardly from the air inlet opening 14 to the rear of a mixing chamber 33 which is disposed within the housing 10 behind the outlet 19. A water passage 34 extends horizontally from the water inlet opening 11 into the mixing chamber 33. The outlet end of the water passage 34 is in the form of a nozzle 35.
FIG. 1 of the drawings is a bottom plan view of a bathtub showing a typical manner in which the device of the present invention may be installed. A pump 36 of conventional type may be mounted wherever desired and is shown adjacent to the tub for purposes of illustration only. The pump 36 supplies water to a pair of water supply pipes 13 which extend around the opposite sides of the tub 38 and which terminate in end housings 37 which are formed in the manner shown in FIG. of the drawings. A water return pipe 39 carries water from the tub 38 back to the pump 36 for continuous recirculation.
Any number of housings may be used. In FIG. 1, two housings 10 are shown at one end of the tub, two end housings 37 at the opposite end of the tub and one housing 10 on each side of the tub.
In use, water is forced by pressure from the pump 36 through the water supply pipes 13, water inlet openings 11 and water passages 34 into the mixing chambers 33 of the housings 10. Air is drawn into the mixing chamber 33 through the air passage 32 by venturi action. A pair of air supply pipes 16 extend around the tub 38 and are connected to one or more air inlets which may conveniently be disposed adjacent to the top of the tub and which are not shown in the drawings.
The device can be used in any tank or tub wall through which an opening such as one inch diameter can be drilled, with room on the opposite side of the wall to accomodate the housings 10. The pipes do not protrude beyond the housings 10, so the device is more compact and is capable of fitting into smaller areas and more limited spaces than the prior art. All water and air supply fittings are completely eliminated, making for economy in manufacture and installation, as well as reducing space requirements.
It should be noted that no faucets, balls, jets, or other devices protrude into the bathtub or tank. The only portion of the device which extends inwardly from the wall 25 is the flange 24 of the outlet 19. It is flat and only a small fraction of an inch thick. It cannot cause any personal injury and is not unsightly.
It should be noted that the device of the present invention requires no screws or other fastening members to be attached to the tub.
After use of the device, all of the water is completely drained from all of the water supply pipes 13 because the ends of the water passages 34 are disposed slightly beneath the bottom level of the interior of the water supply pipes 13.
1. A whirlpool jet assembly for bathtubs comprising a plurality of housings spaced around the exterior of a bathtub, each of said housings having a transversely directed water inlet opening and an adjacent transversely directed air inlet opening disposed above said water inlet opening, a horizontally directed water supply pipe extending around the exterior of said bathtub and directly connected to each of said water inlet openings without fittings, a horizontally directed air supply pipe extending around the exterior of said bathtub and directly connected to each of said air inlet openings without fittings, each of said housings having a horizontally directed water passage extending from said water inlet opening to a mixing chamber within said housing, a venturi air passage extending vertically from said air inlet opening into said mixing chamber, whereby the movement of water into and through said chamber is speeded by venturi action, a horizontally directed water outlet extending between said mixing chamber and the interior of said bathtub, and a jet outlet control mounted in the outer end of said water outlet for directing water into said bathtub.
2. The structure described in claim 1, and means for recirculating water from said bathtub through said water supply pipe, the bottom of said water inlet open ing of each of said housings beind disposed above the bottom of said mixing chamber, whereby said water supply pipe is completely drained into said mixing chamber after each use.
3. The structure described in claim 2, each of said water and air inlet openings having a divider disposed adjacent the midportion thereof, said dividers providing a pair of abutments on opposite sides thereof against which the ends of a pair of sections of said,
water and air supply pipes fit, said sections being cemented within said openings to form a permanent connection.
4. The structure described in claim 3, said housings being compact and extending outwardly from the outer periphery of said bathtub approximately the same distance as said water and air supply pipes.
5. The structure described in claim 4, said water and air inlet openings, dividers, passages and mixing chambers all comprising integral portions of a unitary housing molded of rigid plastic material.