Title:
Flow control assembly for a shower head
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shower assembly (10) including a shower head (11) to receive water from a cold water tap (12) and a hot water tap (13). Each of the taps (12, 13) has a tap body (20) within which there is located a flow restriction device (23). A further flow restriction device (33) is located downstream of the two flow restriction devices (23).



Inventors:
Mcdonald, Christopher William (Putney, AU)
Application Number:
11/506196
Publication Date:
07/26/2007
Filing Date:
08/17/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ladas & Parry LLP (26 West 61 Street, New York, NY, 10023, US)
Claims:
1. A flow control assembly for a shower head that is to receive hot water from a hot water inlet and cold water from a cold water inlet, said assembly including: a first flow restriction device to be operatively associated with the cold water inlet to restrict flow emanating therefrom; a second flow restriction device, said second device to be operatively associated with the hot water inlet to restrict the flow emanating therefrom; a pipe extending from the two devices so as to receive water therefrom and to deliver the water to the shower head; and a third flow restriction device, said third device being downstream of the first and the second device so as to restrict the flow of water to the shower head.

2. The flow control assembly of claim 1, wherein said third flow restriction device is a variable orifice device, with the orifice thereof being caused to close with an increase in water pressure delivered to the third device.

3. The flow control assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second devices are fixed orifice water restriction devices.

4. The flow control assembly of claim 2, wherein the hot water inlet includes a hot water tap and the cold water inlet and a cold water tap.

5. The flow control assembly of claim 2, wherein said hot water inlet and cold water inlet are included in a mixer tap.

6. The flow control assembly of claim 3, wherein the hot water inlet includes a hot water tap and the cold water inlet and a cold water tap.

7. The flow control assembly of claim 3, wherein said hot water inlet and cold water inlet are included in a mixer tap.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to flow control assemblies for shower heads that are to receive water from a hot water tap and water from a cold water tap, and more particularly such assemblies that aid in regulating water to the shower head.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

To save water frequently shower assemblies are provided with flow restriction devices in the hot and cold water taps to aid in reducing water usage. These assemblies have the disadvantage that in respect of water being delivered to the hot and cold water taps, fluctuations in temperature and pressure can change the flow rate of the water delivered by the shower head.

An alternative approach has been to insert a flow restriction device downstream of the two taps and before the shower head. However this has failed to overcome the above problem in that pressure fluctuations alter the temperature of water delivered by the shower head.

OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

It is the object of the present invention to overcome or at least substantially ameliorate the above disadvantage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

There is disclosed herein a flow control assembly for a shower head that is to receive hot water from a hot water inlet and cold water from a cold water inlet, said assembly including:

a first flow restriction device to be operatively associated with the cold water inlet to restrict flow emanating therefrom;

a second flow restriction device, said second device to be operatively associated with the hot water inlet to restrict the flow emanating therefrom;

a pipe extending from the two devices so as to receive water therefrom and to deliver the water to the shower head; and

a third flow restriction device, said third device being downstream of the first and the second device so as to restrict the flow of water to the shower head.

Preferably, said third flow restriction device is a variable orifice device, with the orifice thereof being caused to close with an increase in water pressure delivered to the third device.

Preferably, the first and second devices are fixed orifice water restriction devices.

Preferably, the hot water inlet includes a hot water tap and the cold water inlet and a cold water tap.

Preferably, said hot water inlet and cold water inlet are included in a mixer tap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A preferred form of the present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic front elevation of a shower assembly;

FIG. 2 is a schematic sectioned bottom plan view of the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic sectioned side elevation of a flow restriction device employed adjacent the shower head of the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIGS. 4 and 5 are schematic sectioned side elevations of flow restriction devices employed in the taps of the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a schematic front elevation of a further shower assembly;

FIG. 7 is a schematic bottom plan view of the assembly of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a schematic sectioned side elevation of a flow restriction device employed in the shower head of the assembly of FIG. 6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In the accompanying drawings there is schematically depicted a shower assembly 10. The shower assembly 10 includes a shower head 11 that receives water from a cold water tap 12 and a hot water tap 13. A cold water inlet pipe 14 extends to the inlet 40 of tap 12 while a hot water inlet pipe 15 extends to the inlet 41 of tap 13.

A pipe 16 delivers water from the taps 12 and 13 to the head 11 via a first pipe portion 17 that delivers the water to a second pipe portion 18. The portion 18 delivers the water to a pivotally mounted arm 19 to which the head 11 is attached.

Each of the taps 12 and 13 includes a tap body 20 having a water inlet 21. The body has an outlet 22 via which water is delivered to the pipe portion 17. Mounted in the body 20 is a flow restriction device 23. Examples of the device 23 are more fully described in Australian Patent Application 34326/02 and Australian Patent 705264. The device 23 provides a seat 24 that is engaged by a tap washer 25 moved by means of a spindle 26. The spindle 26 has a threaded section 27 that is threadably engaged with a spindle mounting 28, that in turn is threadably engaged with the body 20. Rotation of the spindle 26 about the axis 29 causes movement of the spindle 26 longitudinally of the axis 29 to move the washer 25 relative to the seat 24. Accordingly the washer 25 is movable from a position permitting water to flow through the device 23 (as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5) and a position at which the washer 25 engages the seat 24 to prevent flow through the tap 12/13. Each device 23 is of a fixed orifice type in that it has inlet passages 30 that extend to an outlet passage 31 but are generally normal thereto. The passage 31 extends to an opening 32 surrounded by the seat 24, with the opening 32 being selectively closed by means of the washer 25. When the washer 25 is spaced from the seat 23, water passes from the inlet passage 30, to the passage 31 to exit via the opening 32 so that water is delivered to the outlet 22. The change in direction of water through the device 23 restricts flow.

The device 23 is threadably engaged in the body 20 so as to be secured thereto.

Immediately downstream from the head 13 is a flow restriction device 33. The device 33 is of a variable aperture type in that the restriction device has apertures 34 that are in size dependent on the pressure applied to the device 33. The device 33 has a plurality of flexible leaves 35 between which the apertures 34 are located. As pressure immediately upstream of the device 35 increase, the leaves 33 converge so that the apertures 34 are reduced, thereby increasing the resistance to flow through the device 33. The leaves 35 are resilient so that upon a reduction in pressure the leaves 35 move apart to increase the size of the apertures 34, thereby reducing resistance to flow.

In operation of the above described assembly 10, variations in the temperature of water delivered to the head 13 as a result of fluctuations in pressure delivered to the taps 12 and 13, is diminished.

In FIGS. 6 to 8 there is schematically depicted a modification of the above described assembly 10. In this embodiment the taps 12 and 13 are replaced with a single lever mixer tap 36. The tap 36 has a single lever 37 that is moved in the direction of the arrows 38 and 39 to change the flow rate and temperature of the water delivered to the device 33. The tap 36 includes internally a hot water inlet and a cold water inlet, each of these inlets being provided with a device 23 as described above. The cold water inlet receives water from the cold water inlet-pipe 14 while the hot water inlet receives hot water from the hot water inlet pipe 15.

In the above described assemblies 10 preferably the pressure drop across each of the devices 23 is at least 100 KPA.





 
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