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Title:
SHOWER BASE WITH FOOT SPA BASIN AND SHOWER GROUP INTEGRATING SUCH A SHOWER BASE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2007/034515
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Shower base (1) comprising a foot spa basin (3) implemented by a raised containment edge (2); a discharge system related to said spa basin, comprising a main discharge outlet (5); a discharge duct (20) for outflowing through said main outlet (5); and closing means (40) of said main outlet (5) slidingly mobile inside a portion of said duct (20); said closing means (40) having, at an inner end of said duct (20), an obturator (42) apt, in the closing configuration, to engage into a seat (50) obtained in said duct (20); and, in the opening configuration, to detach from said seat (50); said duct (20) comprising a main outflow duct (21); and a duct system (31, 32), apt to implement a recirculation path closed in a ring-like fashion on said main duct (21), said duct system (31, 32) having a first inlet end on said main duct upwards said seat (50) for said obturator (42); and a second outflow end on said main duct (21) downwards said seat (50) for said obturator (42); wherein the maximum height reached by said closed path is shorter than the height of said containment edge (2) so that said duct system (31, 32) acts as overflow device and it determines the maximum filling level of said spa basin (3).

Inventors:
MORELLI, Stefano (Via Madona delle Rose 40, Civita Castellana VT, I-01033, IT)
TESTALEPRE, Roberto (Via F. Petrarca 13, Civita Castellana VT, I-01033, IT)
Application Number:
IT2005/000538
Publication Date:
March 29, 2007
Filing Date:
September 20, 2005
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
NIC S.R.L. (Via Civita Castellana snc, Castel S. Elia VT, I-01030, IT)
MORELLI, Stefano (Via Madona delle Rose 40, Civita Castellana VT, I-01033, IT)
TESTALEPRE, Roberto (Via F. Petrarca 13, Civita Castellana VT, I-01033, IT)
International Classes:
E03C1/24; A47K3/022; E03C1/04
Foreign References:
EP0305572A1
US4991625A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEONE, Mario et al. (Società Italiana Brevetti S.p.A, Piazza di Pietra 39, Roma, I-00186, IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:

CLAIMS

1. Shower base (1 ) comprising:

- a foot spa basin (3) implemented by a raised containment edge (2); and

- a discharge system related to said spa basin, comprising: ■ a main discharge outlet (5);

■ a discharge duct (20) for the outflow through said main outlet (5);

■ closing means (40) of said main outlet (5) slidingly mobile inside a portion of said duct (20), said closing means (40) having, at one inner end of said duct (20), an obturator (42) apt, in the closing configuration, to engage in a seat (50) obtained in said duct (20); and, in the opening configuration, to detach from said seat (50); said duct (20) comprising:

• a main outflow duct (21 ); and

• a duct system (31, 32), apt to implement a recirculation path closed in a ring-like fashion on said main duct (21), said duct system (31,

32) having a first inlet end on said main duct upwards said seat (50) for said obturator (42); and a second outflow end on said main duct (21 ) downwards said seat (50) for said obturator (42); wherein the maximum height reached by said closed path is shorter than the height of said containment edge (2) so that said duct system (31 , 32) acts as overflow device and it determines the maximum filling level of said spa basin (3). 2. Shower base (1) according to claim 1, having a plurality of foot spa basins (3, 3', 3"), a respective discharge system (5, 5', 5") as defined in claim 1 being associated to each one of said foot spa basins (3, 3', 3"). 3. Shower group integrating a shower base (1) as defined in one of claims 1 or 2, further comprising a distribution and mixing system (70) apt to produce fluid flows having respective temperatures T f (Ti, T 4 , T 5 ) , each one of said fluid flows being destined to a respective foot spa basin (3) and/or to respective dispensers (12) prearranged for spraying on a user's body. 4. Shower group according to claim 3, wherein said mixing system (70) comprises:

- a main mixer (71) for the dispensing shower head (12), said main mixer (71) being apt to adjust rate and temperature T 1 of a mixture between different fluid flows each one conveyed through respective arrivals ("a", "b") from a distribution network and each one having a respective and given temperature T a (T 2 , T 3 );

- secondary mixers (72, 73), apt to mix said mixture at temperature T 1 provided by said main mixer (71 ), with a fluid flow at temperature T a (T 2 , T 3 ) taken from a respective arrival ("a", "b") from said distribution network, so that each one of said secondary mixers (72, 73) dispenses a fluid at temperature T u (T 4 , T 5 ) intermediate between T 1 and T 3 .

5. Shower group according to claim 4, wherein each one of said secondary mixer (72, 73) is pre-calibrated to provide a given fluid flow rate at a given temperature T u (T 4 , T 5 ).

6. Shower group according to any one of claims 4 or 5 if depending from claim 2, wherein each one of said secondary mixers (72, 73) is apt to make a respective fluid flow to flow, through a special dispenser to a respective foot spa basin (3", 3') having a respective discharge system (5", 5').

7. Shower group according to any one of claims 4 to 6, wherein said secondary mixers (72, 73) are activated automatically by the switching of respective valves (V 2 , V 3 ) induced by manipulating said main mixer (71).

Description:

SHOWER BASE WITH FOOT SPA BASIN AND SHOWER GROUP INTEGRATING SUCH A SHOWER BASE

DESCRIPTION The present invention relates to a shower base in general and, in particular, to a multifunctional shower base to perform a foot bath.

In the case in point, the present invention relates to the field for manufacturing hydro-thermo-sanitary ware and, more specifically, the production of components to implement shower cabins and the like. The present invention can be usefully integrated in all models of shower boxes, of hydrocolumns and bath tubs for the sanitary field in general.

The drawbacks of ineffective disposal of the discharging water from the shower base and the like are well known, due to the insufficient capability of conveying the fluid rate by the discharge outlets and/or to the partial or total obstruction of the openings of the traditional overflow systems.

The recirculation and overflow outlets of known technique substantially are holes made at sight on the inner surface of the tubs of the drainage basins of the sanitary articles, such as bath tubs, wash-basins and shower bases, obtained at heights so as to limit the rising of the fluid head inside thereof until a determined substantially lower level than the containment edges and as to prevent the discharge thereof.

Such holes, often quite narrow, are subject to easy clogging-up, apart from being strongly anaesthetic in that they show themselves like a discontinuity of the surface of the drainage basins of the sanitary articles and in that their recesses let see dirt and stagnation traces due to residues retained by the fluid flowing therethrough. At the current state, the emergency discharge systems, like the overflow systems, do not prevent the back-flow and the overflow in an effective way, not solving the hygienic problems connected thereto.

Furthermore, the shower bases of the traditional shower cabins are not specifically designed to act as foot spa basin and the temperature of the fluid flow wetting the lower limbs and the feet of a user cannot be selectively set by him/her.

Generally, in fact, the temperature of such fluid flow does not differentiate substantially from the one of the jets emitted by the shower dispensing head to clean a user's body.

The temperature of the water jets does not specialize depending from the involved body part.

The object of the present invention is then to solve the problems mentioned

above, by providing a shower base as defined in claim 1 and a shower group integrating such shower base as specified in claim 3.

Thanks to its versatility, the shower base and the shower group according to the present invention can be advantageously adapted to each type and shape of shower cabin, not involving to carry out important modifications in the original structure of the sanitary and discharge equipment for the installation thereof.

Then, the shower base and the shower group according to the present invention result easy to be installed and used, as well as to have an easy design and a cheap production. Thanks to the use of a shower base according to the present invention an improved outflow capability of the discharge water is obtained, by annulling in an effective way the hygienical problems deriving from the overflow and from possible refluxes and back-flows of the same.

The particular shape of the emergency discharge or overflow system associated to the shower base prevents the obstruction thereof, by avoiding the introduction of narrow openings or holes.

In this way obstructing impurities are prevented in an effective way from entering the hydraulic system.

The adoption of the shower base according to the present invention further provides to implement spa basins to perform a relaxing foot bath, in case by providing hydrojets and devices for the plantar massage.

To each spa basin a respective temperature of the water collected therein can be associated, so that a user can select a specific temperature for the foot bath, in case different from the one of the jets dispensed by the shower head. In this way a pleasant and advantageous diversification of the temperature of the sanitary water, depending upon the body part thereto it is destined, is implemented.

In the specific case, a user could wash his/her own body with a jet at one temperature and at the same time select a different temperature for the water addressed to the foot spa basin, emitted at a specific height by a dedicated mixing system.

The relevant thermal rise will facilitate the stimulation of the arteriovenous and lymphatic microcirculation.

Additional advantages, as well as the features and application modes of the present invention will be evident from the following detailed description of some embodiments thereof, shown by way of example and not for limitative purposes, by referring to the figures of the enclosed drawings, wherein: figure 1 is a perspective top and partially cutaway view of a shower cabin

thereon a shower base according to a first embodiment of the present invention is installed; figure 2 is a perspective top view of a detail of the shower cabin of figure 1 ; figure 3-A is a side sectional view of the shower base of figure 1 , apt to illustrate the operation of a discharge system from a main outlet of the shower base, when a main outflow duct is in opened state; figure 3-B is a side sectional view of the shower cabin of figure 1 , apt to illustrate a first operation phase of the discharge system of figure 3-A, when the main outflow duct is in the obstructed condition; - figure 3-C is a side sectional view of the shower base of figure 1, apt to illustrate a second operation phase of the discharge system of figure 3-A, when the main outflow duct is in the obstructed condition/state; figure 3-D is a A-A sectional view of a detail of the components of the thermal barrier system represented in figure 4; - figures 4-A e 4-B are plan views of two respective embodiments of the shower base according to the present invention; figure 4-C is a plan view of the shower base of figure 1 ; and figure 5 is a front view of a distributing and mixing system adapted to the embodiment of the shower base according to the present invention of figure 4-B. In order to describe the present invention, reference to the figures mentioned above will be made hereinafter.

A shower base 1 according to the present invention comprises at least a foot spa basin 3, implemented by means of a raised containment edge 2.

Each spa basin 3 is equipped with a relevant discharge system, comprising a main discharge outlet 5 and a discharge duct 20 for the outflow through said main outlet 5.

The opening of such main discharge outlet 5 is apt to be covered by means of closing means, if necessary.

From figures 3-A, 3-B e 3-C, it can be deduced that such closing means are preferable slidingly mobile inside a portion of the discharge duct 20.

The discharge duct 20, in case drowned in the walls of the floor and/or the walls thereon the shower cabin rests, comprises a main outflow duct 21 and a system of ducts 31 , 32 apt to implement a recirculation path closed in a ring-like fashion on said main duct 21. The closing means can have the shape of a mobile small drain 40 inside the main duct 21, as exemplified in the figures 3-A, 3-B and 3-C.

- A -

The small drain 40 has, at one end outer of the duct 20, a plug 41 for the discharge outlet 5; whereas at the end inside the duct 20 it is equipped with an obturator 42.

Such obturator 42, in the closing configuration illustrated in the figures 3-B e 3-C, is apt to engage in a seat 50 obtained in the duct 20 and, in particular, in the main duct 21; whereas, in the opening configuration illustrated in figure 3-A, it is apt to detach from the seat 50.

As illustrated in figure 3-A, the above-mentioned duct system preferably has two branches communicating one to the other, an upper branch 31 and a lower branch 32 respectively.

The upper branch 31 has a first entrance end on the main duct 21, placed upwards the seat 50 for the obturator 42.

The lower branch 32 has a second outflow end on the main duct 21, placed downwards the seat 50 for the obturator 42. The ends respectively opposed to said entrance and outflow ends open on a common union section of the duct system.

Such union section can have the shape of an overflow chamber 35, thereat the passage of the fluid flow from the upper branch 31 to the lower branch 32 is implemented. The duct system mentioned above is designed so that the maximum height reached by the recirculation path is less than the height of the containment edge 2 of the shower base 1.

In the case in point, the bottom of the overflow chamber 35 is placed at a shorter height than the containment edge 2 of the shower base 1. Thanks to this structural device, the duct system acts as overflow device and it determines the maximum filling level of the spa basin 3 thanks to the known device of the communicating vessels.

In the opening configuration of the obturator 42, the fluid flow discharged from the spa basin 3 discharged directly through the main duct 21, passing between the periphery of the obturator 42 and the inner walls of the main duct 21 , in case filtered by a ring nut 43 or the like placed on the small drain 40.

In the closing configuration of the obturator 42, that is when a user 100 will intend to use the shower base 1 in the foot bath mode, the fluid flow is conveyed by the initial portion of the main duct 21 , upwards the seat 50, to the upper branch 31. The fluid head in the branch 31 positions itself on the same level of the fluid in the spa basin 3.

Such level rises proportionally to the quantity of fluid which is made to flow to the spa basin 3, until the maximum allowed filling level of the spa basin 3 is reached.

When such maximum allowed filling level is reached, the fluid passes, for example by falling, to the lower branch 32, in order to be then conveyed to the main duct 21 downwards the closed obturator 42 through said second outflow end and then definitely discharged.

In this way, there are the conditions so that the user 100 can continue in entering fluid in the spa basin 3 without risk of overflowing.

The fluid can be entered in the spa basin indirectly, for example by falling from the shower dispensing head 12 and/or directly by means of a distribution and mixing system dedicated to the foot bath.

In the second case, a user 100 can also take advantage from the hydromassage exerted by the inlet jet at his/her own lower limbs and feet.

It is clear that the overflow device implemented by means of such duct system, results however operative and it nonetheless guarantees to keep the maximum allowed filling level of the spa basin 3, by avoiding fluid discharges from the edge 2, even when, the obturator 42 being in the opening configuration, the fluid rate entered the spa basin 3 exceeds the discharging capability through the section of the main duct 21 at the inner end of the small drain 40. Filters 60, which in case can be extracted and interchanged, can be strategically positioned on the branch 32 at the end which opens on the overflow chamber 35, so as to stop the impurity circulation in the hydraulic system of the shower cabin.

From figure 1 it is clear that the shower base according to the present invention can be shaped so as to have a plurality of foot spa basins 3, 3'. A respective discharge system as described above in detail is associated to each one of such spa basins, so that in any case the overflow from each spa basin is avoided.

In figure 4-A and 4-C two variants of shower base according to the present invention are represented, with spa basins 3, 3' with rounded or rectangular plan, respectively.

In figure 4-B an embodiment of the shower base according to the present invention having three foot spa basins 3, 3' and 3" is illustrated.

Such embodiment is suitable to house at the same time two users 100 who wish to have the optional chance of making a foot bath whereas they are taking a shower according to the traditional modes.

The present invention also relates to a shower group integrating a shower base as described sofar, comprising a distribution and mixing system 70 specifically

designed to adapt to the shape of the shower base so as to allow an easy and rational use thereof.

Such mixing and distribution system 70 is apt to create and dispense distinct flows, having respective and different temperatures. Each one of such fluid flows is destined to a respective spa basin 3 for foot bath and/or respective dispensers pre-arranged for spraying onto the body of a user 100.

Among such dispensers a shower head 12 to emit a water jet for the traditional shower is comprised of course.

More in particular, such mixing and distribution system 70 comprises a main mixer 71 for the dispensing shower head 12 and secondary mixers 72, 73.

The main mixer 71 for the shower dispensing head 12 is apt to adjust rate and temperature T 1 of a mixture of different fluid flows, each one conveyed through respective arrivals from a distribution network and each one having a respective and given temperature T 3 . In the case shown in figure 5, adapted to the embodiment of the shower base of figure 4-B with three spa basins 3, 3' and 3", the arrivals "a", "b" from distribution network are two for as many as fluid flows conveyed to temperature T 2 and T 3 , respectively.

The secondary mixers are apt to mix the mixture at temperature T 1 provided by the main mixer 71, with a respective fluid flow with temperature T a taken from a relative arrival from the distribution network, so that each one of the secondary mixers dispenses a fluid at temperature T u intermediate between T 1 and T 3 .

In the case in point, from figure 5 it can be noted that the secondary mixer 72 is apt to mix the mixture at temperature T 1 provided by the main mixer 71 with the fluid flow at T 2 coming from the arrival "a", thus by dispensing a fluid at temperature T 4 intermediate at T 1 and T 2 .

Similarly, the secondary mixer 73 is apt to mix the mixture at temperature T 1 provided by the main mixer 71 with the fluid flow at T 3 coming from the arrival "b", thus by dispensing a fluid at temperature T 5 intermediate at T 1 and T 3 . The secondary mixers, in case pre-calibrated to provide a given fluid flow rate at a give temperature, respectively, are preferably powered together with the switching of respective valves induced by the manipulation of the main mixer 71 and by the consequent pressure variation in the ducts.

In the configuration of the shower group represented in figure 5, the fluid pressure variation in the ducts at time of opening the shower makes the valves V 2 , V 3 , which feed the two secondary mixers 72 and 73, respectively, to switch.

In this way the activation of the secondary mixers can be automatized and/or be arranged by means of special knobs by a user 100.

From each one of the secondary mixers a respective fluid flow is made to flow, through a special dispenser, to a respective foot spa basin having a respective discharge system.

In the configuration with three spa basins, the fluid flow at temperature T 4 flows into the foot spa basin 3", whereas the fluid flow at temperature T 5 to the spa basin 3'.

In this case the spa basin 3 is filled-up with a fluid flow having temperature substantially equivalent to the one of the jet coming out from the shower head 12.

In this way a user 100 can perform real hydrotherapy treatments with regenerating and vivifying effect, easily passing from a spa basin 3 to one of the adjacent spa basins and thus alternating the foot bath temperature.

Clearly, the distribution and mixing system 70 can provide constructive solutions so that the activation of the secondary mixers is made independent from the closed or opened state of the shower head 12 obtained by manipulating the main mixer 71.

In this way a user 100, when he/she desires it, can use the shower base for one foot bath only, by excluding the mode with a jet emission from the shower.

The morphology and the sizes of the shower base are such as to guarantee an optimum level of users' usability and autonomy.

The present invention has been described sofar with reference to preferred embodiments. It is clear that the embodiments described sofar could be combined therebetween so as to originate other embodiments having different combinations of features, however comprised within the inventive core of the present invention. Furthermore, it is to be meant that other embodiments belonging to the same inventive core, all comprised within the protection scope of the herebelow reported claims, may exist.