Title:
Hot and cold water mixer tap with thermostatic unit and flow diverter unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention relates to a hot and cold water mixer tap for bath tubs, showers and the like which incorporates a multi-functional group comprising a thermostatic unit (14) to control mixing and temperature of the water, and of a flow diverter unit (15) to selectively deliver water to one or at least two outlets. The thermostatic unit (14) and the flow diverter unit (15) are pre-assembled in a cartridge configuration and one part of the thermostatic unit forms a means for controlling the flow deviator.



Inventors:
Ottelli, Giordano (US)
Application Number:
10/225059
Publication Date:
06/05/2003
Filing Date:
08/21/2002
Assignee:
OTTELLI GIORDANO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/02; E03C1/04; (IPC1-7): E03C1/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
McGLEW AND TUTTLE, P.C. (SCARBOROUGH, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A hot and cold water mixer tap for bath tubs, showers and the like characterised in that it incorporates a multi-functional group comprising a thermostatic unit (14) to control mixing and temperature of the water, and of a flow diverter unit (15) to selectively deliver water to one or at least two outlets, and wherein the thermostatic unit (14) and the flow diverter unit (15) are pre-assembled in a cartridge configuration and a part of the thermostatic unit forms a means for controlling the flow diverter unit.

2. The hot and cold water mixer tap according to claim 1 wherein, in the multi-functional group, the thermostatic unit (14) has a coaxial control knob (41) with a handle or lever (32) to control the flow diverter unit, each turning independently of each other.

3. The hot and cold water mixer tap according to claim 1 wherein, in the multi-functional group, the thermostatic unit (14) includes a cartridge body (20) associated at the bottom with a base (22), closed and fixed at the top to a sleeve (23) and forming a mixing chamber (26) in which a first hot water inlet (24) and a second cold water inlet (25) are provided, wherein in said mixing chamber (26) a control piston (34) is located to control the quantity of hot and cold water entering under the control of a heat sensitive bulb (35) connected indirectly to said knob (41) of the thermostatic unit, and wherein the flow diverter unit (15) includes a turning distributor plate (30) adjacent to the bottom (22) of the cartridge body and having a hole or an out of centre opening (31) in communication with said mixing chamber (26) and which is positionable in line with at least two water output ports (29,29′) connected to a same number of outlets.

4. The hot and cold water mixer tap according to claim 3, wherein the cartridge body (20) is located in the tap body and able to turn; the bottom (22) is fixed blocked in said tap body; the distributor plate (30) rests and turns on said bottom and depends on rotation from said cartridge body (20), and the rotation of the cartridge body is controlled by the control handle or lever (32) of the flow diverter unit, by means of the sleeve (23) to which it is attached.

5. The hot and cold water mixer tap according to claims 3 and 4, wherein a stop dowel (20a) fixed to the cartridge body (20) extends and engages a locator slot (22a) setting the rotation limit of the distributor plate (30) placing either the hole or out of centre opening (31) of the latter in line with each of the ports (29,29″) to deliver water to each of the outlets according to the selection made.

6. The hot and cold water mixer tap according to any of the previous claims, wherein the cartridge group is enclosed in a container to set the external dimensions.

7. A cartridge group to control mixing and delivery of hot and cold water in taps for sanitary plants characterised by a thermostatic unit (14) to control mixing and temperature of the water and by a selector flow diverter unit (15) for delivering water towards one or at least two outlets, the thermostatic unit (14) and the flow diverter unit (15) being pre-assembled in a cartridge configuration, and a part of the thermostatic unit forming a means of control of the flow diverter unit, the thermostatic unit (14) having control knob (41) coaxial with a control handle or lever (32) of the flow diverter unit.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention concerns the bathroom finishing, both for external and recessed installations, for bath tubs, showers and the like, and refer in particular to a hot and cold mixer tap, housing a thermostatic unit for regulating the temperature of the water delivered and means for selectively diverting the water flow towards at least two different outlets.

[0002] 2. State of the Art

[0003] In the field of bathroom finishing hot and cold water mixer valves are known which incorporate a cartridge system and consequently mixer taps housing these mixer valves are already known. The latter usually have two separate hot or cold water entrances and a single water exit towards the outlet.

[0004] Also well known are the thermostatic mixer taps, that is to say equipped with a thermostatic system which enables the water temperature in output to be set and then automatically regulated, by adjusting the ratio of cold water to hot water to be mixed.

[0005] In tap fittings for bath tubs and showers flow diverter systems towards at least two different outlets are also used. These diverter systems however usually form a unit of their own, associated but not integrated with the valve fittings and/or thermostatic control of the mixing and temperature of the water.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] One object of the present invention is to provide a thermostatic, mixer tap also incorporating a flow diverter unit for selective feed of at least two different outlets.

[0007] Another object of the invention is to supply a cold and hot water mixer tap incorporating an integrated thermostatic unit and a flow diverter system in a group configured like a cartridge and therefore easy to manipulate, easy to place in position in the body of a tap and easy to remove and to maintain.

[0008] A further object of the invention is to achieve a thermostatic mixer tap, complete with a flow diverter system with two aligned and easy to access control means, one for the thermostatic unit and the other for opening/closing the water and the flow diverter system, and where a part of the thermostatic unit is used as a means for operating the flow diverter.

[0009] These objects and implicit advantages which derive from them are reached, in compliance with the present invention, with a thermostatic tap according to at least claim 1.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] The invention will be described more in detail following the present specification made in reference to the enclosed indicative and not limiting drawings, in which:

[0011] FIG. 1 is an exploded view and cross-section of the components in the cartridge group made up of the thermostatic mixer unit and flow diverter unit;

[0012] FIGS. 2 and 3 are two external views from opposite sides of the assembled cartridge group;

[0013] FIG. 4 is the cartridge group seen from below;

[0014] FIG. 5 is a cross-section of the group in FIGS. 2 and 3 inserted in a bath tub group;

[0015] FIGS. 6 and 7 are a view from the side and overhead of the bath tub group in FIG. 5;

[0016] FIG. 8 is a cartridge group to form part of a tap for a shower;

[0017] FIG. 9 is a cross-section of the group in FIG. 8 inserted into the said tap: and FIG. 10 is a recessed tap housing a cartridge group according to the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0018] As illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, the tap comprises a body 11 having a housing 12 in which there is assembled and axially blocked by a ring nut 13, with an interposed anti-friction ring 13′, a group configured as a cartridge made up of a thermostatic unit 14 and a flow diverter unit 15.

[0019] The tap body 11 has an entrance for hot water 16, an entrance for cold water 17, each with a one way valve, a first exit 18 to an outlet, such as the bath tub, and a second exit 19 towards another outlet, such as a shower.

[0020] The cartridge group includes a cartridge body 20, substantially cylindrical and hollow, equipped with outer seals 21 at different levels, closed at the bottom by a base 22 and supporting at the top a coupling 23, screwed to it with a seal 23′ inserted between them.

[0021] On the side wall of the cartridge body 20, which can be turned in its housing 12, there is a first water inlet 24 and a second water inlet 25, at two different heights, in zones between the outer seals 21. The first inlet 24 is in fluid communication with the hot water entrance 16; the second inlet 25 is in fluid communication with the cold water entrance 17 of the tap body 11. The first and second inlets 24, 25 are enclosed by filters 24′, 25′ and lead into a mixing chamber 26 inside the cartridge body 20.

[0022] The base 22 has at least one reference pin 22′ for positioning the cartridge group in the tap body 11 and to prevent the bottom of the same from turning. The bottom has two holes 22″ each of which receives a pin 27, 27′ with an elastomeric material ring 28 positioned between them. Said pins, preferably ceramic, enclose two ports 29, 29′ coinciding with the water exits 18, 19, each feeding its respective output.

[0023] A distributor plate 30 resting hard against a seal 30′ and turning on the pins 27, 27′ is positioned in the cartridge body 20. This plate 30, preferably ceramic, has a hole or out of centre opening 31 running width wise through it, positioning itself in line with each of the output ports 29, 29′ following rotation of the plate itself.

[0024] The rotation of the distributor plate 30 is enabled by its tooth 20′ engaging the cartridge body 20, and the cartridge body is turned by a handle or lever 32 fixed to the sleeve 23 and connected to a ring 33 to a position index indicating the closed position of the tap. The handle or lever 32 can be marked with references or icons to show which port 29,29′ and therefore which output is being supplied by opening the tap. Rotation of the cartridge body 20, and therefore lining up of the hole or opening 31 to be in line with one or the other output port, is limited by a stop dowel 20a fixed to the body and moving in a slot 22a cut in the base 22.

[0025] Inside the cartridge body 20, that is in the mixing chamber 26, opposite the two hot and cold water inlets 24 and 25 and moving axially to the latter, there is a control piston 34 to control the delivery of the two types of water in input. The control piston 34 is connected and moves, as is known, by means of a heat sensitive bulb placed in the centre of the mixing chamber 26 so as to change the ratio of hot and cold water to be mixed and to maintain the temperature of the water delivered constant. The water entering the mixing chamber 26 flows from the latter to the distributor plate 30 to exit towards a user depending on which hole or opening 31 of the plate is in line with one or the other of the two exit ports 29,29′.

[0026] The heat sensitive bulb 35 is connected by means of springs 36, 37. One end being connected to the cartridge body 20 and the other to a turning regulating rod 38 by means of a cap 39 and a slider 40. This slider 40 is guided in the sleeve 23 and in 38′ screwed to the rod 38 which is itself attached to a control knob 41, by turning which it is possible to position the heat sensitive bulb 35, and by means of the latter the control piston 34 of the delivery of the two types of water entering, so as to set or change the temperature of the water being delivered to the outputs. The temperature selected may be set by blocking the position of the control knob by means of a pushbutton 42 with connected spring 42′ and pin 42″.

[0027] In this way, once the temperature of the water has been selected, simply turn the handle or lever 32, starting from the closed position, to send the water either to one or the other of the provided outlets.

[0028] Furthermore, by introducing an insert 43 into the slot 22a, so as to partially fill it, it will be possible to limit the rotation of the cartridge body and consequently the distributor plate 30 so as to deliver to one output only, excluding the other.

[0029] The group made up of a thermostatic unit and a pre-assembled flow diverter unit in the form of a cartridge may be used both in bath tub groups and as taps for shower cubicles, both as external or recessed fixtures.

[0030] FIGS. 5-7 show an application for a bath tub group to deliver water to the tub and to the shower.

[0031] FIGS. 8 and 9 are a cartridge group 44 for shower tap and a tap 45 housing this group, where the same or similar components as those described above are indicated with the same reference numbers.

[0032] Finally, in FIG. 10 we have a recessed tap 45 housing a cartridge group, which includes a thermostatic unit 14 with relative control knob 41 and a diverter 15 with respective control handle or lever 32, and where the cartridge group is enclosed in a container 46 to adapt to the size of the group so as to enable this to be used instead of mixer valves which have standard sizes.