Title:
Device to prevent certain Shower Curtain Leaks
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention addresses the problem of water leaking through a roughly triangular shaped opening created between a shower curtain, a bathtub rim and an adjacent wall. It does so with a simple-to-use, one-piece device which forces the edge of the shower curtain into the point where rim and wall meet, thereby eliminating the opening. Since it is mounted on the bathtub rim, the device also prevents water from flowing along such rim towards the open side of the bathtub and onto the floor.



Inventors:
Schmitz, Rudolf Hardy (Roswell, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/029307
Publication Date:
08/13/2009
Filing Date:
02/11/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/605
International Classes:
A47K3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RUDOLF H. SCHMITZ (ROSWEL, GA, US)
Claims:
1. A leak prevention device that forces the edge of a shower curtain into that area that exists where a bathtub rim connects to an adjoining wall, that wall being perpendicular to the long side of such bathtub.

2. A device that is mounted on top of a bathtub rim in such a way that it blocks water from flowing along such rim towards the outside of the bathtub.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

No related applications were used in this application

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

No federally sponsored research or development was requested or received

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING

No material is submitted separately on a compact disk

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to bathtubs used as showers and associated methods and devices to prevent water from passing around shower curtains. Many bathtubs are also used as showers and when they are, a shower curtain is often used to prevent water from splashing to the floor in front of the bathtub. Since the bottom of such a curtain usually hangs inside the tub and since the tub usually features a one to two inch rim, a triangular opening exists between the shower curtain, the bathtub rim and the adjacent wall (see FIG. 1). This opening allows water to escape the bathtub area by either splashing through the opening or by allowing the flow of water along the rim. The latter being the case especially when the tub has been installed with even a very small tilt towards the floor side. Existing art includes the following:

U.S. Pat. No. 4,769,862 to David S. Skrzelowski discloses a track for slidably suspending a shower curtain across the front opening of a shower stall and around end corners of the support rearwardly at the front opening. End portions of the shower curtain may be drawn around the corners and inside the shower stall to overlap at least a portion of the surface of the stall end walls in order to prevent leaks.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,887,324 to H. Ross Cairns discloses a one-piece molding that grips a shower curtain by locking a marginal portion of the curtain between a rib on one arm and a groove on a second arm. The arms are swingable about a third arm through living hinges, and the first arm is adapted to be affixed against a wall of a shower enclosure. The shower curtain is pressed against the wall by one of the arms.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,148,580 to Dean W. Dyckow discloses a kit to fasten the outer surface of a shower curtain to an adjacent wall in the shower closure. A sealing protrusion extends from the wall adjacent the fasteners so that, when the outer surface of the curtain is fastened to the wall, the edge of the curtain abuts the protrusion.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,228,149 to Alex J. Phinn, Jr. provides for mating pairs of hook-and-loop pads backed with waterproof pressure sensitive adhesive. The pads are positioned both on a vertical edge of the shower curtain and on the wall adjacent the shower curtain edge.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,606,752 to John M. Shenton, Jr. and John M. Shenton, III discloses a splash guard apparatus for a shower curtain includes a base member, a clamping wall member connected to the base member, a movable connection assembly connected to the base member, and a clamp assembly connected to the movable connection assembly.

In spite of these known systems, there remains a need for an unobtrusive and economical solution that (1) closes the above mentioned opening all the way from the rod down to the rim of the bathtub and (2) prevents water from flowing along the rim of the bathtub towards the floor.

Permanently affixing the curtain edge to the wall defeats the purpose of having a curtain which can be opened on both sides. Solutions which require parts to be pre-attached to the edge of the curtain or which require modifications to the curtain itself are problematic because shower curtain rods can be hung at varying heights and it is therefore impossible to predict before their installation where the edge of the shower curtain will be in relation to the bathtub rim. And large splash guards can be obtrusive and may even cause injury.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention consists of a simple, one-piece device which is mounted on top of the rim of the bathtub by a self-adhesive strip or other means and which, when properly used, forces the edge of the shower curtain into the area where rim and wall meet, thereby closing the triangular shaped opening between shower curtain, shower wall and bathtub rim not only to splashing water but also to water flowing along the bathtub rim (see FIG. 3).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

a) FIG. 1 shows the triangular opening between shower curtain, shower wall and bathtub rim as it exists without the use of the Invention.

b) FIG. 2 shows three perpendicular views of the preferred embodiment with measurements in milimeters.

c) FIG. 3 shows the intended use of the device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The “Device to prevent Shower Curtain Leaks” consists of a single piece of molded plastic approximately 70 mm long, 20 mm wide and 6 mm high, with slightly more than half of its bottom being equipped with a self-adhesive strip and the remainder being a) thinned out on its bottom side except for a rounded “lip” on its end and b) narrower in width by approximately 1 mm on each side. The proper use of the device requires that it be mounted on the rim of the bathtub by using its self-adhesive strip or other measure in such a way that the end with the “lip” points toward the front of the bathtub and its side is touching the shower head wall. The edge of the shower curtain is then slid between the device on one side and the bathtub rim and the shower head wall on the other. This forces the shower curtain to maintain a position in which it touches the shower head wall as well as the bathtub rim, thereby effectively closing the opening that exists when the curtain simply hangs into the bathtub.