Title:
Cleaner/anti-microbial/fungal dispensing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system including a power source, a pump, a reservoir, various tubular members and various nozzle heads is provided. This system may be utilized in residential, commercial and/or institutional settings.



Inventors:
Sieradzki, Richard D. (Petoskey, MI, US)
Application Number:
10/895701
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
07/21/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/28
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PRICE HENEVELD LLP (695 KENMOOR SE P O BOX 2567, GRAND RAPIDS, MI, 49501, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A fluid dispensing system kit for permanent installation into a shower comprising: a fluid dispensing system including a power source; a pump electrically connected to the power source; a reservoir releasably connected to the pump; flexible tubular members having a first end releasably connected to the pump and a second end including at least one nozzle, wherein when an electric current is supplied to the pump of the kit, the pump moves a fluid from the reservoir, through the pump, through the tubular members and to the at least one nozzle.

2. The fluid dispensing system of claim 1, further comprising at shower cleaner.

3. The fluid dispensing system of claim 2, wherein the power source is battery powered.

4. The fluid dispensing system of claim 1, wherein the fluid is a shower cleaning fluid.

5. The fluid dispensing system of claim 1, wherein the fluid comprises an anti-microbial fluid.

6. The fluid dispensing system of claim 1, wherein the fluid comprises an anti-fungal fluid.

7. A fluid dispensing system comprising: a power source; a pump electrically connected to the power source; a reservoir releasably connected to the pump; a flexible tubular member having a first end releasably connected to the pump and a second end including at least one nozzle, wherein when an electric current is supplied to the pump, the pump moves a fluid from the reservoir, through the pump, through the tubular members to at least one nozzle.

8. The fluid dispensing system of claim 7, further comprising at shower cleaner.

9. The fluid dispensing system of claim 8, wherein the power source is battery powered.

10. The fluid dispensing system of claim 7, wherein the fluid is a shower cleaning fluid.

11. The fluid dispensing system of claim 7, wherein the fluid comprises an anti-microbial fluid.

12. The fluid dispensing system of claim 7, wherein the fluid comprises an anti-fungal fluid.

13. A shower comprising; a shower stall; a fluid dispensing system, including: a power source; a pump electrically connected to the power source; a reservoir releasably connected to the pump; a flexible tubular member having a first end releasably connected to the pump and a second end including at least one nozzle, wherein when an electric current is supplied to the pump of the device, the pump moves a fluid from the reservoir, through the pump, through the tubular member to the at least one nozzle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system.

Various shower cleaning apparatuses and shower cleaning dispensing systems are known. U.S. Pat. No. 6,550,080 to Grewal discloses a shower cleaning apparatus including a plurality of tubular members having bores extending therethrough and including a first tubular member being adapted to be securely connected to a pipeline for a showerhead. The '080 apparatus also includes a plurality of connecting members for connecting the tubular members together with the connecting members having bores extending therethrough and further includes one or more nozzles being securely connected to the tubular members and being adapted to be disposed above a bathtub or a shower stall for dispensing and spraying water therefrom. The '080 cleaning apparatus also includes a regulating and controlling assembly for regulating and controlling the flow of water to the one or more nozzles. However, the '080 patent does not disclose a stand alone system (i.e., a system that is not connected to a specific water source, for example a shower head) capable of dispensing a cleaner and/or anti-microbial agent on shower walls and/or shower doors, which may be activated from a remote location via a wired actuator or a wireless actuator.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One aspect of the present invention includes a cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system having a power source, a pump, a reservoir, various tubular members and various nozzle heads.

These and other features, advantages, and objects of the present invention will be further understood and appreciated by those skilled in the art by reference to the following specification, claims, and appended drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a photograph of the installed cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a photograph of the installed cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system according to one aspect of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a photograph of the installed cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system according to one aspect of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a photograph of the installed cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system according to one aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

For purposes of description herein, the terms “upper,” “lower,” “right,” “left,” “rear,” “front,” “vertical,” “horizontal,” and derivatives thereof shall relate to the invention as oriented in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations and step sequences, except where expressly specified to the contrary. It is also to be understood that the specific devices and processes illustrated in the attached drawings and described in the following specification are simply exemplary embodiments of the inventive concepts defined in the appended claims. Hence, specific dimensions and other physical characteristics relating to the embodiments disclosed herein are not to be considered as limiting.

Referring to FIG. 1, the cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system 5 according to one aspect of the present invention generally includes a power source, a pump, a reservoir, and various tubular members.

According to one aspect of the present invention, power source 10 may be any power source, including, but not limited to, a power source selected from the following: batteries, a 110 volt conventional “plug-in” connection, a hard-wired connection (i.e., a connection wherein the cleaner dispensing system of the present invention is wired directly to a power source, which then may be controlled via a switch within the same circuit), solar powered, etc. However, while any conceivable power source 10 may be utilized according to this aspect of the present invention, a battery power source is preferred.

The power source 10 is releasably connected to pump 20 in the cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system 5. Pump 20 utilized in the present invention is generally known. While any size pump may be used in the cleaner/anti-microbial dispensing system of the present invention, a pump that is of sufficient size to dispense the cleaner/anti-microbial throughout system 5, yet one which is aesthetically appealing is preferred. Pump 5 may be sufficient to power the cleaner/anti-microbial in a residential system of the present invention, a commercial system of the present invention or an institutional system of the present invention. For example, the present invention may be utilized in homes, schools, gymnasiums, exercise facilities, colleges, hospitals and/or institutions, etc. This releasable connection between pump 20 and reservoir 30 provides easy access and repair to both pump 20 and reservoir 30.

One or more pumps 20 are connected to one or more reservoirs 30 and is also connected to one or more tubular members 40. Typically, each reservoir has at least one pump connected thereto. Reservoir 30 may be constructed of any known material. These materials include, but are not limited to, plastic, wood, metal, rubber or any combinations or derivations of any of the above. While any material may be used to construct reservoir 30, generally plastic is preferred. Reservoir 30 may be any shape, including, but not limited to rectangular, square, oval, round, trapezoidal or any other known shape or any combination(s) of any known shapes. However, generally a rectangular shape is preferred. Reservoir 30 may be any size. The size of reservoir 30 will vary depending upon the area in which system 5 is installed. Of course, generally the size of reservoir 30 will be much smaller for use in a residential setting. Reservoir 30 may be installed anywhere in the shower area, or alternatively, reservoir 30 may be placed in a separate area (i.e., a separate room or closet room). In this instance, pump 20 and power source 10 may also be placed in this same separate area from the shower or a separate area all together. Also, when this is the case, the tubular members, various connecting wires, etc. may need to be extended (i.e., lengthened) to accommodate this situation.

The tubular members 40 are bored so they have a channel capable of carrying fluid or a gel. Tubular members 40 include a first end 42 connected to pump 20 and second ends 43 that include various nozzle heads 45. As cleaner/anti-microbial is pumped through pump 20, it enters first end 42 of tubular member 40. Tubular member 40 carries the fluid to second end 43 of tubular member 40. It is here that the cleaner/anti-microbial is forced out (i.e., sprayed or otherwise projected) from nozzle heads 45. Generally, tubular members and nozzle heads are known.

The system 5 also includes an actuator 50. Actuator 50 is in communication with pump 20 of the present invention. When a user actuates actuator 50, the pump is turned-on and system 5 is in operation. The actuator may be wired directly to pump 20, or alternatively, the actuator may be a wireless actuator which may be actuated from a remote location.

The system 5 of the present invention may be a free-standing system that may be installed in any shower (i.e., an existing shower in any of the above-mentioned settings).

Most typically, when system 5 is installed for shower cleaner purposes (i.e., it is intended to dispense a shower cleaning product), system 5 will be positioned at a height in the shower such that when the cleaner contacts the shower walls/doors, the cleaner will drip, stream or run down the shower wall. Typically, this height may be measured from the shower floor and extend from about 2 feet to about 10 feet, however, about 6 feet in height is preferred. Most typically, when system 5 is installed for anti-microbial and/or antifungal purposes, system 5 is installed at a height of from about 6 inches to about 5 feet as measured from the shower floor, however, a height of about 2 feet is preferred.

Another embodiment of the present invention includes a shower having the system 5 as described above incorporated within it such that a consumer may purchase a shower with system 5 already incorporated therein. When activated (i.e., when an electric current is supplied to pump 20), pump 20 moves fluid from one or more reservoirs 30 through pump 20 and out through the one or more tubular members 40. Alternatively, system 5 may be incorporated into a custom built or tiled shower. In this instance, every element of the system may optionally be placed in a separate area (i.e., other than the shower) with the exception of the nozzle heads 45. Nozzle heads 45 may protrude through the shower wall just enough to dispense the cleaner/anti-microbial/anti-fungal agent.

Clearly, an anti-microbial solution, or any other solution may be placed within reservoir 20.

In the foregoing description, it will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the invention without departing from the concepts disclosed herein.