Oct. 3, 1967 R. J. FIFE I 3,344,994
SHOWER HEAD HAVING REMOVABLE SPRAY FORMER TO PERMIT CLEANING Filed April 8, 1966 2- Sheets-Sheet 1 Oct. 3, 1967 R. J. FIFE SHOWER HEAD HAVING REMOVABLE SPRAY FORMER TO PERMIT CLEANING 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 8, 1966 g L 'I I I IJH H I? i 2'0 3 g; 7 l
1 119 J0 40 23 J7 J523 Z4 7 3 l 1 l' ilhum N c fig a? llilll IH United States Patent 3,344,994 SHOWER HEAD HAVING REMOVABLE SPRAY FORMER TO PERMIT CLEANING Robert J. Fife, Hinsdale, Ill., assignor to Crane C0., Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Filed Apr. 8, 1966, Ser. No. 541,346 9 Claims. (Cl. 239-457) This invention relates to a shower head for baths, and, more particularly, it is directed to a novel shower head construction in which a wide variety of materials may be employed, including metals and non-metallic compositions without adversely affecting the construction of the device.
In order to have a better appreciation of the merits of this contribution, it is desirable to know something concoming the background of shower heads of the type forming the subject matter of this invention. It will, of course, be appreciated that throughout the world the water conditions encountered vary considerably, both from the standpoint of content of solid matter, as well as the corrosive properties thereof.
Thus, it becomes desirable in combatting the conditions above referred to that the shower head construction lend itself to being made without difiiculty of a number of preselected materials, in which they may be assembled without expensive machining being involved and permit of a relatively lightweight construction capable of easy and convenient adjustment in service.
Another object is to provide for a shower head construction in which most of the basic parts are molded to the exact size Without machining or further finishing, thus adding to the economy in manufacture.
Another important object is to provided for a design which incorporates a desirable rotating action of the shower head spray assembly, as well as predetermined reciprocating movement of the said spray head mechanism simultaneously with the said rotation, thereby a selfcleaning action is attained and aiding substantially in the prevention of clogging of the shower head.
A further important object is to provide for a novel shower head construction in which the spray assembly may be disassembled completely without the necessity for employing any tools, thus replacements, repairs, or inspection can be made by average householders.
Specifically, the latter object is obtained by the mere shifting predeterminately of the actuating means from an exterior vantage point.
Another important object is to provide for an actuating mechanism for a shower head in which the adjustment of the spray pattern may be easily accomplished from a relatively coarse type of stream to a very fine spray as the actuating handle is rotated through a relatively short range, preferably not exceeding 180.
Other objects and advantages will become readily apparent upon proceeding with the following description read in light of the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary sectional assembly view of the shower head of this invention in the full open, coarse or flush position of the head;
FIG. 2 is a sectional assembly view taken substantially on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1 and with the head in the position described therein;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional assembly view of the shower head referred to in FIG. 1, but with the head in the fine spray forming position;
FIG. 4 is a transverse fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the threaded gear rack forming in part the novel subject matter of the invention and with the gear rack in the rotative position shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the spray plate; and
3,344,994 Patented Oct. 3, 1967 FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.
Similar reference numerals refer to similar parts throughout the several views.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a preferably, but not necessarily, plastic hollow body designated 1 is shown, having the outer metallic shell 2 and the inner plastic material 3. The shell portion 2 is suitably formed at an upper portion there-of (not shown), cooperating with a threaded portion to receive the usual assembly ring 4 cooperating with the ball joint 5 and the usual connection 6 for attachment to the inlet piping or water supply (not shown). The flow thus occurs in the direction indicated by the arrow.
The interior chamber 7 of the plastic body 3 is defined on a lower outer portion thereof with the preferably coarse threads 8. The said threads are preferably double and of the Acme type as illustrated, although obviously the number and shape of the threads may vary considerably, depending upon the desired in-and-out or reciprocating movement and also the rotating action to be imparted to the threaded gear rack generally designated 9. Said gear rack at its outer portion as at 11 is formed with complementary threads to cooperate with the threads 8 of the plastic body 3.
The spray plate 12, preferably having the metal insert 13 apertured centrally as at 14 and 23 as more clearly shown in FIG. 7. The said spray plate is also provided with the spaced apart holes 15 on its upper face (FIG. 6) to receive the driving lugs 16 of the thread gear rack 9 (FIG. 3). The number and spacing of the lugs 16 may vary as required, depending upon size and the material employed in the gear rack.
The spray plate 12 is assembled to the said thread gear rack 9 by means of the perforated member 17 together with the threaded centerpiece 18 as shown more clearly in FIG. 2. Specifically, the attachment is made by means of the threads 19 of the centerpiece 18 which when assembled within the aperture 23 engages the shouldered portion 21 (FIG. 2) of the perforated or center spray member 17 having the spray holes 10- so that the members 12, 17, and 18 move together as a unit with the gear rack member 9 when the latter member is rotated and reciprocally moved in or out in the manner hereinafter described in more detail. It should be noted that the outer periphery of the member 12 is provided with the grooves or serrations 22 for the spray-forming function common in this type of shower head.
It will, of course, be appreciated that while the spray member 17 as above described is made separately, it can be made integral with the threaded centerpiece 18 where conditions warrant such construction.
The upper or inner portion of the gear rack member 9 is provided with the oppositely disposed quadrants of arculately extending pitched or inclined gear teeth 24 and 25 shown more clearly in FIG. 4. It should be understood that by reason of the pitched or inclined arrangement of teeth employed, suitable allowance is made for the meshing of the latter with the gear 26, notwithstanding the axial movement of the gear rack within the hollow body upon the threads 11. Either the teeth 24 or teeth 25 are used, but not both, depending upon the degree of rotation permitted by the rotative movement of the threads 11 within the threaded chamber '8 in the engagement of the teeth at all times with the drive gear 26. It will be appreciated that the rotative movement of the drive gear 26 is limited by stops 20 and 43 on the gear rack 9 and the stop 42 on the drive gear engaging the stop 20, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The stops 20 on the gear rack control the position of the shower head in providing for the coarse spray and the stops 43 on the gear rack control the position of the head in the fine spray position. The gear 26 is non-rotatably attached to the axially movable, rotatable stem 27 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 by means of the retaining screw 28 engaging said stem to maintain the gear member 26 in suitable shouldered position as shown in FIGS. 1, 3, and 4. The coiled spring member 29 is preferably employed to bear against the Washer 31 and the drive gear 26. The purpose of said spring is to maintain the gear 26 in meshed engagement with the teeth 24. Similarly, when it becomes necessary to disassemble and remove the thread gear rack 9 by rotation, the gear 26 is then drawn outwardly against the compression of the spring 29. With such axially shifting of the gear free of said teeth, then the member 9 is freely rotatable on its threads 11. With the arrangement, the stops 20, 42 and 43 are no longer effective to function. The enlarged portion 32 of the stem 27 projects outwardly through the body portion 3 and the outer shell 2, and is fluid sealed at 33 by means of the O-ring so designated.
A suitable thrust washer 34 defines the outer limit of the bore 35 through which the said enlarged portion 32 of the stem projects. To complete the latter assembly, the outer portion of the said enlarged portion 32 is provided with a suitable actuating handle 36 suitably arranged for non-rotatable attachment to the said stem 27.
When the stem 32 is rotated by means of side disposed handle 36, the drive gear 26 is moved upon the arcuately extending gear teeth 24 of the thread gear rack 9.
The gear member, as indicated more clearly in FIGS. 2 and 5, is provided with the through ports 37, 38 and 39 which communicate with the interior or chamber 7 of the body 3 to provide for fluid passageways to grooves 22 on plate 12 cooperating with the annular interior surface 30 for the said spray forming function. The spray holes in the center spray member 17 are supplied with fluid through port 44 communicating with the chamber 7 (FIG. 2).
It will be appreciated from the description above given that the device lends itself to a quick and easy assembly and disassembly. Preferably, most of the parts are molded of suitable compositions, such as plastics, and thereby eliminating the cost involved in machining, usually found necessary when the parts are made of metals. In addition, the assembly of the device or disassembly is accomplished by simply gripping the knurled portion 40 of the centerpiece 18 by turning it either clockwise or counterclockwise as required. The latter gripping action effects the thread gear rack member 9 so as to rotate and to move axially in or out of the body 1.
By rotating the member 18 in the desired direction, the complete sub-assembly is removed, realizing, of course, that the arcuate gear teeth 24 will be separated from their illustrated meshing engagement with the drive gear 26. Thus, the only remaining portion of the actuating mechanism remaining within the head will be gear 26, the stem 27 and the remaining assembly cooperating with the stem. It should be apparent that it becomes relatively easy to clean the threaded portion 8 supporting the thread gear rack member 9, while at the same time inspecting and replacing, where necessary, the parts comprising the parts 12, 17, and 18, shown more clearly in FIG. -2. Also, by removal of the sub-assembly, it will of course be easy to detect whether or not the gear rack 24 and the gear 26 require replacement.
It will be appreciated that in the assembly of the threaded centerpiece member 18, together with the perforated member 17 to the threaded gear rack member 9, a suitable dished face plate 41 is preferably used, engaging, as indicated, the outer peripheral portion of the spray plate member 12 and fitting within the apertured portion 14 of the spray plate member 12 thereby to complete the assembly. Turning the stem 27 will rotate the gear 26 upon the gear rack 24 and thus rotate the complete assembly of the thread gear rack member 9 together with 4 the several parts attached thereto, namely, the members 12, 17, 18, and 41. Upon such movement, the thread gear rack 9 is rotated with its ports 37, 38, and 39 to the rotative position shown in FIG. 5. The latter occurs in the full open coarse position of the shower head.
While only a single embodiment of this invention has been shown and described, it will of course be appreciated that numerous modifications may fall within the terms of the invention which should therefore be measured by the scope of the appended claims.
1. A shower head comprising a hollow body with means for connection to a water supply pipe at one end and with an opening at the other end opposite the water supply pipe connection, said latter opening being normally closed by a spray plate, a thread gear rack having threads on its outer periphery for rotative engagement with similar threads in said hollow body, said gear rack having attached thereto a sub-assembly for spray forming purposes comprising said spray plate and means for attaching said spray plate to said gear rack, said spray plate having peripheral means for spray forming function in assembled position relative to said body, means for actuating said gear rack, the said actuating means including side disposed drive gear, said gear rack having at least a single set of arcuately extending gear teeth on an upper surface thereof for engagement with said drive gear to impart rotative and axial movement to the said thread gear rack within the similarly threaded portion of said hollow body, the said actuating means being predeterminately shiftable axially to permit the said drive gear to be selectively engaged or disengaged from the teeth of the said gear rack whereby the latter member is free to rotate within said hollow body in either direction dur ing assembly or disassembly of the shower head.
2. The subject matter of claim 1, the said spray plate including a centrally disposed threaded centerpiece connected to said thread gear rack to retain said spray plate in non-rotatable relation to said gear rack in spray forming position.
3. The subject matter of claim 2, projecting means interposed between said thread gear rack and said spray plate to effect said non-rotatable relationship.
4. The subject matter of claim 1, the said thread gear rack having through ports communicating with the interior of said hollow body and said spray plate sub-assembly.
5. The subject matter of claim 1, the said drive gear being resiliently mounted whereby to maintain said gear normally in meshed engagement with the teeth of the said thread gear rack.
6. The subject matter of claim 1, the said thread gear rack having oppositely disposed quadrants of arcuately extending gear teeth on an upper surface thereof.
7. The subject matter of claim 1, stop means at opposite ends of the gear teeth on the thread gear rack cooperating with said drive gear to control the position of the shower head spray plate in providing respectively for the coarse spray and the fine spray position.
8. The subject matter of claim 1, the said arcuately extending gear teeth being pitched or inclined to permit continuous meshing of said teeth with the said drive gear regardless of the axial position of said thread gear rack position while engaging the threads of said hollow body.
9. The subject matter of claim 2, the said centerpiece having a spray portion, the said thread gear rack having a hollow threaded portion for effecting said attachment of the threaded centerpiece to said gear rack whereby to provide a chamber for the flow through the spray portion of the said centerpiece.
(References on following page) References Cited UNITED FOREIGN PATENTS STATES PATENTS 74,856 1893 Germany.
Fraser 239 4 0 664,627 1/ 1952 Great Britain. 5 M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner. Bachli et a1 239-457 X VAN c. WILKS, Examiner.