Title:
Portable shower
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable shower that can be used in diverse environment and that can accommodate persons with disabilities that prevent them from being ambulatory. A base for the shower is of a size and shape permitting a person to stand therein, or sit on a shower chair thereon. A sprayer is provided comprising a tank for holding water, a hand pump for pressurizing the water in the tank, and a hose extending from the tank and terminating in a spray head. The sprayer is contained in an upright ledge integral with the base, located within the periphery of the base, and that has an opening sized to receive at least a portion of the sprayer tank. A frame formed from tubular posts is secured upright from the base. A clip secures the sprayer hose to the top of a tubular post to dispose the spray head at a location above the head of the user. A shower curtain is supported by the top edges of the frame to drape about the frame with its side edges opposing to form an entryway, the curtain formed with a cut-away at its bottom edge to accommodate the sprayer tank ledge.



Inventors:
Jackson, Gregory (La Palma, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/506634
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
08/18/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K3/32; A47K3/022
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Brooks Kushman P.C. / BERLINER & ASSOCIATES (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A portable shower, comprising: a base of a size and shape permitting a person to stand therein, or sit on a shower chair thereon, and having top, bottom and side surfaces; a sprayer comprising a tank for holding water, a hand pump for pressurizing the water in the tank, and a hose extending from the tank and terminating in a spray head; and an upright ledge having a top and having a bottom integral with the top surface of the base, located within the periphery of the base, the ledge upstanding from the base and on which the sprayer tank is disposed.

2. The portable shower of claim 1 in which the hose includes a mechanism for turning the water to the spray head on and off.

3. The portable shower of claim 1 in which the ledge has an opening sized to receive at least a portion of the sprayer tank.

4. The portable shower of claim 1 in which the base and ledge are formed as one piece.

5. The portable shower of claim 1 wherein the base is rectangular and the ledge is box-shaped.

6. The portable shower of claim 1 wherein the base is hollow and is formed with a plurality of internal structural supports.

7. The portable shower of claim 6 wherein the internal structural supports comprise cone shaped members that are formed integral with and extending normal to the bottom surface of the base.

8. The portable shower of claim 1 in which the base has a drain opening therein to allow water to drain to an area between the top and bottom base surfaces, and a drain spout fitted into a side surface of the base for expelling drain water from the base.

9. The portable shower of claim 1 including a plurality of tubular posts having top and bottom ends, the base having openings through its top surface around the periphery of the base and through the top surface of the ledge, each sized to retain the bottom end of a tubular post therein wherein to provide a frame of base-connected tubular posts upstanding from the base and around the base and sprayer.

10. The portable shower of claim 9 including a plurality of tubular members between and connecting pairs of the base-connected tubular posts to stabilize the frame.

11. The portable shower of claim 10 in which the connecting tubular members are disposed normal to the base-connected tubular posts.

12. The portable shower of claim 9 including extension tubular posts having top and bottom ends that are secured at their bottom ends upright to the top ends of the base connected tubular posts to extend the height of the frame.

13. The portable shower of claim 12 including a plurality of connecting tubular members between and normal to and connecting the lower ends of opposing pairs of the extension tubular posts to the base connected tubular posts, and connecting the upper ends of the extension tubular posts, whereby to stabilize the frame.

14. The portable shower of claim 13 wherein the there are no connecting tubular members between one set of opposing pairs of connected tubular posts and extension tubular posts, permitting walk in access to the shower.

15. The portable shower of claim 13 in which the connection are made with tubular tees or tubular elbows.

16. The portable shower of claim 9 including a plurality of horizontally disposed tubular members between and connecting pairs of the tubular posts to form top edges of the frame, and a shower curtain having top, bottom, and side edges, the top edges of the shower curtain being supported by the top edges of the frame to drape about the frame with its side edges opposing to form an entryway.

17. The portable shower of claim 16 in which the shower curtain is formed with a cut-away at its bottom edge to accommodate the sprayer tank ledge.

18. The portable shower of claim 16 in which corners of the shower curtain are formed with pairs of openings spaced apart from the bottom edges to the top edges of the curtain, through which strings can be inserted to tie the curtain to respective tubular posts.

19. The portable shower of claim 1 including a clip for securing the sprayer hose to a tubular post adjacent the top end of the tubular post to dispose the spray head at a location above the head of the user.

20. A portable shower, comprising: a rectangular base of a size and shape permitting a person to stand therein, or sit on a shower chair thereon, and having top, bottom, and side surfaces, and a drain opening therein to allow water to drain to an area between the top and bottom base surfaces; a drain spout fitted into a side surface of the base for expelling drain water from the base; a sprayer comprising a tank for holding water, a hand pump for pressurizing the water in the tank, and a hose extending from the tank and terminating in a spray head, the hose including a mechanism for turning the water to the spray head on and off; an upright box-shaped ledge having a top and having a bottom integral with the top surface of the base, located within the periphery of the base and formed as one piece with the base, the ledge upstanding from the base and on which the sprayer tank is disposed and having an opening sized to receive at least a portion of the sprayer tank; a plurality of tubular posts having top and bottom ends, the base having openings through its top surface around the periphery of the base and through the top surface of the ledge, each sized to retain the bottom end of a tubular post therein wherein to provide a frame of tubular posts upstanding from the base and around the base and sprayer, the frame having horizontally disposed tubular members between and connecting pairs of the tubular posts to form top edges of the frame; a clip for securing the sprayer hose to a tubular post adjacent the top end of the tubular post to dispose the spray head at a location above the head of the user; and a shower curtain having top, bottom, and side edges, the top edges of the shower curtain being supported by the top edges of the frame to drape about the frame with its side edges opposing to form an entryway, the curtain formed with a cut-away at its bottom edge to accommodate the sprayer tank ledge.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a portable shower.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

There is a need for portable showers in a wide variety of environments, for use in emergencies such as in cases of disaster, for the battlefield, to use on excursions to locations having no shower or bathing facilities such as camp sites, at construction sites, in rural or unincorporated communities, and the like. The art has been struggling with a proper mechanism and design for a portable shower for at least 135 years judging from the published patent art from U.S. Pat. No. 112,217 (1871) for a shower bath apparatus to U.S. Pat. No. 6,745,414 for a portable shower station. Intervening prior art includes. Some of these prior devices include pumps to deliver water, generally by using the feet to pump the water, as in U.S. Pat. No. 3,629,875. Others connect a water line to an overhead shower head. Others use a pressurized water tank, for example U.S. Pat. No. 3,080,568, but requiring a tire pump to a predetermined pressure level, and Des. Pat. No. 221,771 requiring a foot pump located on the shower floor to deliver pressure to water tank. British Patent No. 12,547 uses a hand pump connected to recirculate water from the floor of the shower. Others use battery driven bilge type motors as in U.S. Pat. No. 3,606,618. Other prior art includes: U.S. Pat. Nos. 211,874; 298,585; 2,852,784; 3,208,083; 3,293,664; 3,606,618; 3,657,746; 3,681,788; 3,760,431; 4,413,363; 4,453,280; 4,539,720; 4,975,992; 5,287,569; Des. Pat. Nos. 370,527; 5,544,369; 5,920,927; D444,215; and 6,463,599. Foreign patents that have attempted to address the problem include: French Patent No. 379,536; and German Patent No. 84,929 and 1,291,483.

In spite of the efforts of many to provide a portable a shower, none have been able to provide a design that is fully functional as a shower in all the environments described above. A portable shower is needed that doesn't require any external power source and which can be either use available water or can carry its own water. It is also very desirable to have a smooth, comfortable platform receptive to bare feet that drains readily and does not accumulate a pool of water that keeps the feet in used shower water. There also needs to be the ability to obtain a steady stream of water feed to a shower head that is easy to use, is securely associated with the shower to facilitate ease of use, and can be easily shut on and off, so as to conserve water and pressure. The portable shower should also be lightweight, easy to set up, and should enable privacy to be provided.

In addition to the foregoing, prior portable showers have been sorely lacking in accommodations for the disabled. For example, some of the prior art showers assume the user will be fully able to perform such tasks as using his or her foot to pump the water to a shower head, or that he or she will be able to stand in the shower. Accordingly in an era when society is devising numerous accommodations for the disabled, there is a critical need to extend those accommodations to campgrounds and other places where the disabled now go. Moreover, in disaster areas, it is not sufficient to have potable showers on hand that can serve only ambulatory victims, but paraplegics, the infirm, and other non-ambulatory persons need also to be accommodated.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes the drawbacks of the prior art and provides the needed attributes of a portable shower that can be used in diverse environment and that can accommodate persons with disabilities that prevent them from being ambulatory. The portable shower of this invention doesn't require any external power source. It can use either available water or can carry its own water. It has a smooth, comfortable platform base receptive to bare feet that drains readily and does not accumulate a pool of water that keeps the feet in used shower water. It provides a steady stream of water feed to a shower head and is easy to use and securely associated with the shower. It is also lightweight, easy to set up, and enables privacy to be provided.

Importantly, the invention is designed to accommodate persons who cannot stand but need to be seated in the shower and who cannot use their feet to pump water to a shower head, allowing them to use one hand for that purpose, or allowing another person to assist without that person standing in the shower.

More specifically, the platform base for the shower is of a size and shape permitting a person to stand therein, or sit on a shower chair thereon. A sprayer is provided comprising a tank for holding water, a hand pump for pressurizing the water in the tank, and a hose extending from the tank and terminating in a spray head. The sprayer is contained in an upright ledge integral with the base, located within the periphery of the base, and that has an opening sized to receive at least a portion of the sprayer tank. A frame formed from tubular posts is secured upright from the base. A clip secures the sprayer hose to the top of a tubular post to dispose the spray head at a location above the head of the user. A shower curtain is supported by the top edges of the frame to drape about the frame with its side edges opposing to form an entryway, the curtain formed with a cut-away at its bottom edge to accommodate the sprayer holding ledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a more complete understanding of the present invention, reference is now made to the following descriptions taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one side of the portable shower of this invention, without a shower curtain, showing the platform base, integral ledge, hand pumped sprayer, and frame constructed from tubular posts;

FIG. 2 is perspective view of the opposite side of the portable shower, showing specific design details;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the portable shower from the perspective of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan view of the bottom of the shower base;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the platform and upright hollow ledge components of the portable shower showing details of structural elements; and

FIG. 6 is perspective view of the shower with a shower curtain draped thereon and showing in shadow the integral ledge for containing a sprayer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-4, a portable shower 10 of this invention is shown in perspective view, without its shower curtain that will be described hereinafter. The portable shower 10 includes a base 12, which in this embodiment is molded in one piece and includes a top surface serving as a drain pan 14. The base 12 is generally hollow with a bottom surface 16 (FIG. 4) and side surfaces 18, 20, 22, and 24.

The drain pan 14 is formed with an upright hollow ledge 26, box-shaped in this embodiment, located within the periphery of the drain pan 14. The ledge 26 is integral with the drain pan 14 and has a cubic form in this embodiment. A sprayer 28 is disposed in an opening 30 FIG. 3) in the top surface 32 of the ledge 26.

The drain pan 14 has a lip 34 around its periphery (except around the ledge 26) about 3 inches wide and rising above the drain pan surface about 1 inch. The drain pan 14 slopes slightly downward from the lip 34 to a center drain 36 covered by a drain screen 38.

The drain pan is of a size and shape, rectangular in this embodiment, permitting a person to stand on it, or to sit on it in a shower chair (not shown). A shower chair (also called a bath chair) can be of any construction that would enable a disabled person, such as a paraplegic, to sit comfortably while taking a shower. An example is found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,974,191 to M. Serhan, entitled “Shower Chair with Interlocking Arms”, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

Because the portable shower is to enable paraplegics or other disable people to use it, the sprayer 28 needs to deliver water to a spray head nozzle 40 located at the top of the portable shower with a minimum of effort, without requiring the use of a person's foot to pump the water. I have found that an ideal sprayer is of the type used to spray insecticide by pumping air by hand into a tank 42 fitted with a hose adapter 44, a hose 46 from the adapter 44 to the spray head 40, and a spray control valve 48 adjacent the spray head nozzle 40. Such a sprayer is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,155,497 to R. C. Hudson, Jr. et al, entitled “Sprayer Tank with Combination Hose Outlet and Pressure Release Valve”, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference. The relatively short vinyl hose of the Hudson, Jr. et al. sprayer is replaced by a vinyl hose sufficiently long to reach the top of the portable shower 10. A hand pump driven by a handle 50 is used to pressurize the contents of the tank 42, whereupon by means of the control valve the water volume going to and through the spray head nozzle 40 increases.

The tank 28 is disposed in the ledge opening 30, allowing someone either sitting or standing on the drain pan 14 to pressurize the tank 42. If the person taking a shower is not able to exert sufficient hand power to load the tank with air, it can be done by another person reaching in and pumping air into the tank with the pump handle 50.

Referring specifically to FIG. 2, the drain 36 allows water to drain to an area between the drain pan 14 and the bottom base surface 16. A drain spout 52 is fitted into a side surface 24 of the base 12 for expelling drain water from the base 12.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3, a plurality of tubular posts 54 are disposed in openings in the base 12 so as to extend normal to the base 12, and are disposed around the periphery of the base 12, in this embodiment at its corners, and through the top surface of the ledge 26. The base openings are each sized to retain the bottom end of the respective tubular post to provide a frame 56 of base-connected tubular posts upstanding from the base and around the base and sprayer. A plurality of tubular members 58 are connected between and normal to pairs of the base-connected tubular posts 54 to stabilize the frame 56. A plurality of extension tubular posts 60 are secured to the top ends of the base connected tubular posts 54 to extend the height of the frame 56, the tubular members 58 connecting the lower ends of opposing pairs of the extension tubular posts 60 to the base connected tubular posts 54. Additional tubular members 62 connect the upper ends of the extension tubular members 60 to stabilize the extended frame.

Connections between the tubular post 54, 60 and/or tubular members 58, 62 are made with tubular tees 64 or tubular elbows 66. There are no connecting tubular members 58 between one set of opposing pairs of connected tubular posts 54 and extension tubular posts 60, permitting walk in access to the shower.

As shown most clearly in FIG. 2, a double “C” clip 68 (shown also in exploded view) secures the sprayer hose 46 to a tubular post 60 adjacent the top end of the tubular post 60 to dispose the spray head 40 at a location above the head of the user.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, a plan view of the bottom of the shower base 12 is shown in FIG. 4, and a cross-sectional view with details of structural elements of the drain pan 14 and upright hollow ledge 26 is shown in FIG. 5. To give the hollow base sufficient strength to support a user, the base 12 is provided with a plurality of internal structural supports 70, which are cone shaped members formed integral with, and extending normal to, the bottom surface 16 of the base 12 to the underside of the drain pan 14.

Also shown in FIGS. 4 and 5 is one of the openings 72 for supporting one of the base-connected tubular posts, which is formed at a lower end with a cone-shaped support structure 74.

Referring to FIG. 6, the portable shower 10 includes a shower curtain 76 having top, bottom, and side edges, respectively at 78, 80, and 82. The top edges 78 of the shower curtain 76 are supported by the top tubular members 62, which define the top edges of the extended frame 56 to drape about the frame 56 with its side edges 82 opposing to form an entryway.84. The shower curtain 76 is formed with a cut-away 86 at its bottom edge to accommodate the sprayer tank ledge, shown in shadow. Corners of the shower curtain 76 are formed with pairs of openings, such as at 86, spaced apart from the bottom edges 80 to the top edges 78 of the curtain 76, through which strings 88 can be inserted to tie the curtain 76 to respective tubular posts 54, 60. Grommet holes 90 are formed along the top edges of the 78 of the shower curtain 76 and supported on the top tubular members 62 by shower curtain ring clips 92

Although the present invention has been described in connection with the preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that modifications and variations may be utilized without departing from the principles and scope of the invention, as those skilled in the art will readily understand. Accordingly, such modifications may be practiced within the scope of the following claims.