Title:
WATER FLOW SHIELD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A deflector for a shower to direct a flow of water from a shower away from a body, while for example a temperature setting of such water is adjusting.



Inventors:
Sever, Gil (Rosh-Haayin, IL)
Application Number:
12/348419
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
01/05/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/605, 137/582
International Classes:
E03C1/01
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HWU, DAVIS D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz LLP (New York, NY, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A device comprising: an attachment member to attach the device to a plumbing installation proximate to a shower outlet; a shield to deflect a direction of a flow of water from the shower outlet, a position member holding the shield in a first position in front of the shower outlet, and in a second position away from the front of the outlet, such that in the first position, the shield deflects water flow from the outlet, and in the second position the shield does not deflect the water flow from the outlet.

2. The device as in claim 1, wherein the shield comprises a curved hood to deflect the flow of water.

3. The device as in claim 2, wherein the curved hood comprises a substantially parabolic hood.

4. The device as in claim 1, wherein the attachment member comprises an attachment member to removably attach the device to the plumbing installation.

5. The device as in claim 1, wherein the shield comprises a spout to direct the flow of water away from a user.

6. The device as in claim 1, comprising an extension to remotely move the shield from the first position to the second position.

7. The device as in claim 1, wherein the shield comprises a downward lead to direct the flow of water downward.

8. The device as in claim 1, comprising an automatic closing mechanism to automatically set the shield in the second position.

9. A shower flow deflector comprising: a concave shield adjustably held in front of a stream of water flowing from a shower outlet, wherein the shield deflects a first flow of water at a first angle into a flow of water at a second angle, and a second flow of water at a third angle into the flow of water at the second angle.

10. The shower flow deflector in claim 9, comprising an adjustment member to alternatingly first hold the shield in front of the stream of water from the shower outlet, and second to hold the shield away from in front of the stream of water from the shower outlet.

11. The shower flow deflector as in claim 9, wherein the concave shield comprises a substantially parabolic shaped shield.

12. The shower flow deflector as in claim 9, wherein the shower flow deflector comprises an attachment bracket to removably hold the shower flow deflector onto a fixture of the shower outlet.

13. The shower flow deflector as in claim 9, comprising an extension to direct the flow of water at the second angle away from a user.

14. The shower flow deflector as in claim 9, comprising a tightening screw to secure a position of the shield.

15. A method of deflecting a shower flow away from a person, comprising: moving a curved shield from a first position away from a front of a shower outlet, into a second position in front of the shower outlet; and directing a flow of the shower away from a user of a shower.

16. The method as in claim 15, wherein the moving comprises, moving the curved shield by a remote extension.

17. The method as in claim 15, wherein the directing comprises directing the flow downward.

18. The method as in claim 15, wherein the moving comprises automatically moving the curved shield from the first position to the second position.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims benefit of prior U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. Ser. No. 61/006,256 filed on Jan. 3, 2008 and entitled ‘Method and Apparatus for a Shower Funnel’, which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to directing water flowing from a faucet or shower head. For example, embodiments of the present invention selectively directs a flow of water from a faucet away from a user to protect the user from exposure to water.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Exposure to excessively cold or hot water from a tap, faucet or shower before such temperature is moderated by a user or by the plumbing system may be uncomfortable or even dangerous. Some shower or sink users find themselves waiting for the water to reach the desired temperature, while trying to prevent the water flow from touching their bodies.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the invention may include a device having an attachment member to attach the device to a plumbing installation that may be proximate to a shower outlet, a shield to deflect a direction of a flow of water from the shower outlet, a position member holding the shield in a first position that may be in front of the shower outlet, and in a second position that may be away from the front of the outlet, such that in the first position, the shield deflects water flow from the outlet, and in the second position the shield does not deflect the water flow from the outlet. In some embodiments, the shield may be shaped as a curved hood that may fit over the shower head to deflect the flow of water. In some embodiments, the curved hood may be shaped as a parabola to collect water flowing from the shower head at various angles, into a single or smaller number of flows at a different angle.

In some embodiments, the attachment member may removably attach the device to the plumbing installation so that the device may be removed and reattached to the same or a different plumbing installation.

In some embodiments, the shield may include a spout to direct the flow of water away from a user. In some embodiments, the device may include a rod or extension to let a user change a position of the shield remotely.

In some embodiments, the shield may include or be connected to a funnel or downward lead to direct the flow of water downward.

In some embodiments, the device may include an automatic closing mechanism to automatically set the shield in a position in front of a shower head.

Embodiments of the invention may include a shower flow deflector having a concave shield adjustably held in front of a stream of water flowing from a shower outlet, where the shield deflects a first flow of water at a first angle into a flow of water at a second angle, and a second flow of water at a third angle into the flow of water at the second angle, so that the deflector collects various flows of water from a showerhead into a smaller number of flows of water, and changes a direction of such flows. In some embodiments, the deflector may include an adjustment member to hold the shield in front of the stream of water from the shower outlet, and to hold an alternate position of the shield away from in front of the stream of water from the shower outlet.

In some embodiments, a device may include a tightening screw to hold a position of the shield in front of the shower head.

Embodiments of the invention may include a method of deflecting a shower flow away from a person by moving a curved shield from a first position away from a front of a shower outlet, and towards a second position in front of the shower outlet, and directing a flow of the shower away from a user of a shower.

In some embodiments, the moving may include moving the curved shield by a remote extension.

In some embodiments, the directing may include directing the flow of water downward.

In some embodiments, the moving may be performed automatically.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with features and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read with the accompanied drawings in which:

FIG. 1A is schematic diagram of components of a device in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1B is schematic diagram of a device in an open position attached to a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1C is schematic diagram of a device in a closed position attached to a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1D is a schematic diagram of a device in an open position, showing a flow of water from a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1E is a schematic diagram of a device in a closed position, showing a flow of water from a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a device attachable to a faucet that may direct water away from a user or other object, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention; and

FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In the following description, various embodiments of the invention will be described. For purposes of explanation, specific examples are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of at least one embodiment of the invention. However, it will also be apparent to one skilled in the art that other embodiments of the invention are not limited to the examples described herein. Furthermore, well-known features may be omitted or simplified in order not to obscure embodiments of the invention described herein. In addition to its standard meaning, the terms shower, faucet, shower outlet or shower head refer to any outlet of a flow of water that may be directed towards a body, and may include a bath, sink, bidet or other plumbing installations.

Reference is made to FIG. 1A, a schematic diagram of components of a device in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. Device 100 may include an attachment member 102 by which device 100 may be attached or coupled to a plumbing fixture such as a pipe, shower base, shower head, shower handle or other member that may be part of, or close or contiguous to an outlet end of a shower, faucet or other plumbing installation. Cover member 104 may be moveably attached to attachment member 102 so that cover member 104 may be raised or lowered, or opened or closed, such that in a lowered or closed position, cover member 104 deflects a flow of water from an outlet end of a plumbing fixture such as a shower head, and in a raised or open position, cover member 104 is removed from blocking a flow of water from the shower head. Blocking or deflection of a flow of water by cover member 104 may prevent water from reaching a body that is positioned in front of the shower head.

In operation, device 100 may be attached to a pipe or extention of a plumbing installation. A user may lower or cover an outlet of a shower or faucet with cover member 104, and turn on the water or otherwise adjust a temperature of the water flowing from the outlet. While the water temperature is being regulated or reaching a new heat setting, the cover member 104 may be or remain closed, and a flow of water from the outlet may be directed away from a body. Once the flow of water reaches a desired temperature or at another period, a user may raise cover member 104 to allow the flow of water from the outlet to resume its original direction, such as towards the body. In some embodiments, a cover member 104 may be lowered while a user shampoos or conditions hair, or takes other actions that would be disrupted by a flow of water onto a body. The flow of water may be deflected away from the body while such actions are taken, and then may be restored when the action is finished, all without turning off the water flow or otherwise adjusting a setting on the faucet temperature or flow volume control. In a raised position, cover member 104 may be stored out of the way of the user and of the flow of water from the shower outlet.

In some embodiments, cover member 104 may be or include a hood or shield made of for example, plastic, hardened rubber, metal or other materials that may be water-proof and that may stand up to exposure to water flow from a faucet without degrading. Cover member 104 may be for example concave in shape, and approximately 1.5 to 2 times the size of the shower head, though other sizes and shapes are possible.

Reference is made to FIG. 1B, a schematic diagram of a device in an open position attached to a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, attachment member 102 may include a ring or other clasp or holding means that may wrap around or otherwise firmly grasp a pipe 106 or other extension of a plumbing installation. Attachment member 102 may be permanently or removably attached to pipe 106 by for example a bracket having a tightening screw, a plastic tightening cord or other known means. A hinge 108 may secure attachment member 102 to pipe 106, which may be attached to a wall or housing 124. In some embodiments, once attachment member 102 is in place around pipe 106, hinge 108 may be threaded through a first and then a second end of a ring, bracket or clasp of attachment member 102. In some embodiments, two sets of tighteners or bolts 110 and 112 may be threaded onto hinge 108. A first set of bolts 110 may be tightened on either side of the ring or clasp that squeezes the attachment member 102 around pipe 106. Apertures of cover member 104 may be fit into ends of hinge 108 so that a first inner side of cover member 104 is in contact with an outside of a first of the first set of bolts 110, and a second inner side of cover member 104 is in contact with an outside of a second of the first set of bolts 110. The second set of bolts 112 may be threaded onto hinge 108, so that bolts 112 contact and both a first outer side of cover member 104 and a second outer side of cover member 104, respectively. A threading of hinge 108 may be spaced to allow cover member 104 to be moveably or adjustably held on hinge 108, even when the second set of bolts 112 are securely tightened. Such moveable or adjustable holding of cover member 104 may permit cover member 104 to be raised and lowered by a user and to remain in such set position. Other ways of securing attachment member 102 to pipe 106, and moveably securing cover member 104 in front or, or away from an outlet of the shower head, are possible. In some embodiments, attachment member 102 may be removeably attached to pipe 106 so that device 100 may be removed from one pipe 106 and taken to a different pipe or shower. In some embodiments, bolts such as bolts 112 and 110 may include tighteners 113 that may be secured by a user's fingers, to allow a user to install and set a position of device 100 without other tools.

In some embodiments, an inside of cover member 104 may be parabolically shaped, so that a flow of water emerging from a shower outlet at various angles may be channelled into a single or concentrated direction, and so that the deflected flow of water down from the inside of cover member 104 is relatively uniform. In some embodiments, the flow of water down from the cover member 104 may be relatively perpendicular to the initial flow of the water out of the shower outlet.

In some embodiments, an end of cover member 104 may include a spout or extension 114, so that the deflected water flow is further concentrated towards a sigle point as it flows down from cover member 104. In some embodiments, extension 114 may be curved down and inward so that when cover member 104 is lowered over a shower outlet, a water flow is further directed away from the user and towards for example a wall from which the shower installation protrudes. In some embodiments, extension 114 may be shaped as a tube or funnel so that water deflected by the inside of cover member 104 is funneled sharply downward and away from a body. Other extensions of the deflection mechanism are possible, and other directions for deflected flow streams are possible.

In some embodiments, device 100 may be controlled by a rod 122 or by a string with for example a pulley or by another extension or handle so that a child, short person or person who is unable to reach the shower head, may be able to raise and lower the lid by a remote mechanism. In some embodiments, device 100 may include a default setting so when a shower or faucet is turned off, the cover member 104 automatically lowers over the shower outlet until actively raised by a user. Such default setting may be activated by a spring in or attached to hinge 108 so that when there is no flow of water from a shower, or when the device 100 is not actively set into an open position for an extended period, the spring gently moves the cover member 104 into a closed or covered position. A latch that may be situated for example proximate to such spring may be set to delay an automatic closing of the cover member 104 for a period that may approximate a duration of a shower, such as five or ten minutes.

Reference is made to FIG. 1C, a schematic diagram of a device in a closed position attached to a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

Reference is made to FIG. 1D, a schematic diagram of a device in an open position, showing a flow of water from a plumbing installation, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, when cover member 104 is in a raised position, a flow of water 116 exits from the shower head without impairment or deflection.

Reference is made to FIG. 1E, a schematic diagram of a device in a closed position, showing portions of a flow of water from a plumbing installation that are deflected by the cover member 104, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, lowering cover mechanism 104 deflects a stream of water from only the portion of the shower outlet 118 that streams towards a user, while water from the portion of the shower outlet that streams down or away from a user is not deflected. In some embodiments, water flowing from outlet 118 at various angles, such as a first angle 119 and a second angle 121, both of which were directed at a body of a user in front of the outlet 118, may be deflected by cover member 104, such that the angle of the water flowing down from cover member 104 is altered to a third angle 120 flowing downward from outlet 118, at a direction that is substantially perpendicular to the original flow of the deflected water from outlet 118. In some embodiments, the concave or parabolic shape of cover member 104 may converge the flow of water from the various angles 119 and 121 at which they emerge from the outlet 118, to one or a limited number of angles 120 at which they emerge from cover member 104. In some embodiments, cover member 104 may collect flows of water from angles 119 and 121 into a single of few number of angles 120, such as an angle flowing substantially downward from cover member 104. In some embodiments, cover member 104 may not deflect part of the flow of water from outlet 118, such as a lower part 123 of the flow that in any case is directed downward and away from a body of a user.

Reference is made to FIG. 2, a schematic diagram of a device attachable to a faucet that may direct water away from a user or other object in a line of flow of water, in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In some embodiments, device 200 may include a connector segment 202 that may be removeably attached to a faucet such as for example a sink or bath faucet. Connector segment 202 may be fashioned of for example flexible plastic or other materials that may accommodate a variety of faucet sizes and shapes. In some embodiments, connector segment 202 may include a cap 204 or other securing segment that may secure the device 200 onto the faucet, and that may establish a seal to prevent escape of water from above device 200. Device 200 may include for example a downward lead 206 that may in some embodiments be shaped as a funnel, pipe or otherwise. In some embodiments, downward lead 206 may include a director, that may direct a flow of water from the faucet to a particular side or direction, such as for example away from an object, body or user. In some embodiments, director may be or include a joint 208 or pivotable part of downward lead 206, that may be pivoted without moving the rest of downward lead 206. In some embodiments, all or some portion of downward lead 206 may be or include a shape-retaining material such as corrugated plastic that may be stretched and bent to one side by a user, so that a flow of water from a faucet is directed in accordance with a bending of the lead 206 by a user.

Reference is made to FIG. 3, a flow diagram of a method in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. In block 300, a curved shield may be moved from a first position away from a front of a shower head or outlet and into a second position in front of the shower outlet. In block 302, a flow of water from the shower head may be directed from a first direction towards a body of a user in front of the shower head, to a second direction that may be downward or away from a body of a user.

In some embodiments, a user may grasp a handle, string, rod or other remote extension and use such remote extension to move the shield from one position to another position.

In some embodiments, moving the curved shield from an open position where a shower head is uncovered to a closed position where the shower head is covered, may be performed automatically so that unless a user actively removes the shield from in front of the shower head, the shield or cover will swing into position in front of the shower head.

The present invention has been described using detailed descriptions of embodiment thereof that is provided by way of example and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention. The described embodiment comprises different features, not all of which are required in all embodiments of the invention. Some embodiments of the present invention utilize only some of the features or possible combinations of the features. Variations of embodiments of the present invention that are described and embodiments of the present invention comprising different combinations of features noted in the described embodiments will occur to persons of the art. The scope of the invention is limited only by the following claims.