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Патент USA US3085590

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April 16, 1963
w. ROCKE
HYDROTHERAPY APPARATUS
Filed Feb. 1, 1966
3,085,576
ice
Patented Apr. 16, 1963
2
gated tank 10 of the oval outline illustrated in FIG
3,085,576
HYDROTHERAPY APPARATUS
William Roche, R0. Box 623, Bloomington, Ill.
Filed Feb. 1, 1960, Ser. No. 6,044
9 Claims. (Cl. 128-469)
URE 1.
conventionally, a single circulatory system is used in a
round tank, while two similar circulatory systems may
be employed to advantage in the oblong tank, with one
system having a water outlet at the center of curvature
11 of the end walls 12 of the tank, while the other may
include an identical or modi?ed outlet ?tting preferably
positioned at the center 13 of the opposite arcuate wall
produces a greater degree of turbulence and more effec 10 14 of the tank. The upright walls of the tank extend
from a rim 15 at the top of the tank to a generally hori
tive treatment than prior machines, yet in a more gentle
zontal bottom plate 16 which may be welded or other
manner, with minimum discomfort to the patient.
wise secured to the inner surfaces of the walls. As shown,
A closely related object of the invention is the provi
the walls extend thence downwardly to provide skirt por—
sion of an improved circulatory system whereby greater,
yet more uniform turbulence and aeration can be achieved 15 tions 17 terminating in a bottom frame 18 on which casters
19 may be mounted to provide for maximum portability
at all levels within the treatment compartment of the
and convenience in handling the equipment.
tank, yet wherein this circulation and aeration may be
The tank 10 is also provided with a horizontal separator
achieved by the consumption of less power and with
plate or ba?le 21 which is imperforate throughout most
smaller and less expensive motors and pumps than re
20 of its surface but which terminates short of the side walls
quired by conventional equipment.
of the tank to provide restricted annular channels 22
The simultaneous accomplishment of these aims by the
through which water may flow downwardly from a tur
present invention is due, in part at least, to the fact that
bulent ?uid chamber 23 in which it is contemplated that
the present invention accomplishes greater aeration of the
the therapeutic treatment shall take place, to a lower
liquid employed in the treatment compartment of the bath
than accomplished by prior types of apparatus, yet accom 25 chamber 24 which may be termed a quiescent ?uid cham
ber in which there is little turbulence and in which the
plishes these results without introduction of appreciable
water will be substantially free of aeration as will ap
amounts of air into the circulating pumps of the system.
pear. The bottom 16 of the tank is provided with a drain
‘It may be explained that while hydrotherapy has long
opening 25 by which it is interconnected by a relatively
been recognized as a valuable form of treatment for
various types of injuries and disorders, yet the equipment 30 large cylindrical reservoir or sump 26 to prevent pump
suction at the outlet from tank bottom 16 and, as illus
available heretofore has been subject to several short
trated, a drain ?tting 27 is inserted in the aperture 25
comings, particularly in that they have often failed to
and provided with a ?ared into 28 (FIGURE 5), directed
maintain uniformity of turbulence throughout the area of
toward the center of the tank so that liquid ?owing into the
treatment, or because they have been overly violent in
the direct stream of ?uid ?ow, even while failing to 35 sump container 26 is taken from an area quite remote
from the annular channels 22 about the plate 21.
achieve the therapeutic effect.
Circulation of the liquid throughout the apparatus is
It is a speci?c object of the present invention to pro
caused by a pump 31 having within its housing a rotary
vide an improved circulatory system whereby the water
impeller 32 having spirally curved blades 33 (FIGURE
passing through the circulatory pump of the device is
6) and mounted on the armature shaft of a motor 34
substantially free of air although the turbulent water in
carried on a bracket 35 which is supported by resilient
the tank of the device is aerated to a greater degree than
mounting devices 36 on a base frame 37. The pump 31
in types of apparatus heretofore available.
includes an inlet conduit 38 extending from the lower
A further object of the invention is to provide means
end of the sump 26 to the inlet aperture of the pump
whereby the aerated ?uid in the tank of the apparatus
is separated from the air therein prior to being introduced 45 housing and an outlet duct 39 extending from the outlet
connection of the pump housing to the lower end of a
into the circulating pump of the apparatus, together with
vertical air injector tube 41. A cooling vent or “chim
means whereby pure water discharged from the circulating
ney” 40 is provided between the motor 34 and the hous
pump is subjected to a high degree of aeration before
ing walls, and vent openings 30 are provided in the
entering the turbulence chamber of the apparatus.
This invention relates to hydrotherapy apparatus and
has, as its primary object, the provision of a hydrotherapy
bath having an improved circulatory system whereby it
The manner in which the foregoing objects are accom
plished is best described in connection with the drawings
of the following speci?cation, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a plan view of a typical hydrotherapy
bath as contemplated by the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is a sectional view thereof taken substan
50 walls to aid in cooling the motor.
.
The air injector, best seen in FIGURES 2 and 3, in
cludes the relatively large diameter exterior tube 41 pro
vided with an internal water nozzle 42 of reduced di
ameter with respect to the water duct 39 to which it is
connected and positioned concentrically at the lower end
of the tube 41. An air inlet conduit 43 extends to the
tially on the plane of the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
lower end of the tube 41, centering with the nozzle 42
FIGURE 3 is a detail sectional view of the air injector
(FIGURE 3) to an inlet ?tting 44 of a centrifugal drain
and one form of ?uid outlet ?tting utilized by the present
pump
45. The discharge ?tting 46 of the drain pump is
invention, the‘ view being taken on the line 3—3 of 60
connected through an elbow 47 to a riser tube 48 posi
FIGURE 1;
tioned outside of the tank and terminating in a reversely
FIGURE 4 is a partial sectional view of another type
bent
adjustable spout 49. The spout 49 may be adjusted
of outlet ?tting, the view being taken on the line 4-4
vertically and may be directed either into the tank 10
of FIGURE 1;
or outwardly therefrom and held in any desired position
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the drain ?tting of the 65 by packing nut 51. The assembly of the riser tube 48
device; and
FIGURE 6 is a side elevational view of a preferred
and the spout 49 is held in upright position bya ?tting
52 secured to the upper wall of the tank near the rim
form of liquid impeller employed in the circulating pump
15 thereof. A drain petcock ‘53 is provided in the elbow
of the apparatus.
47 of the drain pump outlet.
The principles of the present invention will be described 70 The upper end of the air injector tube 41 extends
through a ?anged [?tting 54 which cooperates with the
in connection with a hydrotherapy bath which may com
prise a cylindrical tub or which may consist of an elon
?ange 55 of a water discharge fitting 56 to provide the
8,085,576
3
water and air inlet at the center of the tank. Appropriate
gaskets are provided to prevent leakage and the ?anges
54, 55 are drawn together by bolts or cap screws 57.
The water discharge ?tting 56 has a plurality of radially
directed outlet apertures 58 and includes a pointed in
ternal de?ector 59 by which the stream of aerated ?uid
rising from the injector tube 41 is thrown outwardly
and caused to pass through the apertures 58 freely and
Without appreciable back pressure. The outlet ?tting 56
also preferably includes a peripheral ?ange 61 on which
the central area of separator plate 21 may rest, while
additional supports (not shown) may be provided for
its outer edges.
A modi?ed form of the ?uid outlet ?tting is illustrated
in FIGURE 4 of the drawings and, as indicated in FIG
URE 1, this modi?ed outlet ?tting may be used on the
outlet of one circulatory system of the machine, while a
?tting such as indicated at 56 is utilized on the system
employed at the other end of the tank. The modi?ed
?tting comprises a ?ange 62 which may be bolted to the
?ange 54 by cap screws 57, as heretofore indicated, with
the ?ange 62 providing a mounting for a stationary up
right pipe 63 over which a vertically slidable and rotata
ble conduit 64 is telescoped. The upper end of the con
duit 64 is bent laterally at 65 and provided with a head
portion 66 having a de?ector 67 pivoted thereon at 68
from the spout into a set tub, lavatory, or other avail
able receptacle.
From the foregoing it will be apparent that the teach~
ings of the present invention provide an improved hydro
therapy vbath wherein the liquid being directed into the
treatment chamber of the tank is ?rst passed through an
air injector in a manner to become highly aerated, yet
in which the air contained in the return ?ow of liquid
is separated therefrom above the quiescent chamber 24
and the sump 26 so that the liquid fed to the impeller
of the pump 31 is relatively free of air. It has been
found that this makes for greatest efficiency in operation,
permitting maximum agitation of the water in the tank,
yet by the expenditure of minimum power, and in such
a way that maximum therapeutic bene?ts are obtained.
Having thus described the invention, what I claim as
new and desire to protect by United States Letters Patent
is:
1. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combination,
an open topped tank including generally upright side walls
and a generally horizontal bottom, the side walls of the
tank extending downwardly beyond the bottom thereof
to support the tank and to provide an enclosure for mech
anism associated therewith; a separator plate comprising
a horizontal bal?e spaced above the bottom of the tank
and provided with a set screw 69 to hold it in properly
to divide the interior thereof into a quiescent ?uid cham
ber below the baffle and a turbulent ?uid chamber there
As will be observed from FIGURE 2, the pumps 31
and 45, together with their driving motors and the essen
tial ?uid conduits of the apparatus, are enclosed and hid
den from view within the skirt portion 17 of the tank,
which also provides mounting means for a switch box
71 and electric conduits 72 and 73 whereby the switches
74 and 75 may control the operation of the apparatus.
Prior to using the apparatus, the tank 10 is partially
?lled with water of the desired temperature. This may
be done by any convenient means (not shown). The
Walls of the tank around its peripheral edges to provide
narrow restricted passages adjacent the tank walls and
interconnecting said chambers; a drain aperture in the
bottom of the tank located at a position beneath the sep
arator plate and remote from said restricted passages;
a sump comprising a relatively large liquid container be
low the quiescent ?uid chamber to prevent pump suction
at the outlet from said chamber and connected thereto
by the aforementioned drain; a liquid inlet line extending
operation of the apparatus is then begun by closing one
of the switches 74, 75 to energize the motor 34 driving
tor driven rotary impeller having spirally curved blades
adjusted position.
the pump impeller 32. The pump delivers a large volume
of water at high velocity through the outlet duct 39 to
the internal water nozzle 42 which effects a venturi ac
tion, causing air to be drawn inwardly through spout 49,
through pipes 48, 47 and 46, through the centrifugal
pump 45 and thence inwardly through the duct 43 to
the air injector tube 41. It will be understood that since
the pump 45 is idle, the air may ?ow freely through it.
Thus a mixture of air and water is caused to ?ow up
above, said separator plate being spaced from the upright
from the sump to a circulating pump consisting of a mo
enclosed within a housing having inlet and outlet ?ttings
thereon, an outlet duct from said circulating pump extend
ing to an air injector consisting of an upright nozzle and
a horizontal conduit inlet of same diameter reduced in
diameter with respect to the outlet duct of the pump and
positioned substantially below the bottom of the tank, with
and aerating tube of diameter substantially greater than
the diameter of the nozzle extending directly upwardly
therefrom through the bottom of the tank and the sep
arator plate thereof and terminating in an outlet ?tting
wardly in the tube 41 and is projected laterally through 50 having de?ecting means to direct the ?ow of aerated ?uid
the outlet apertures 58 of the ?tting 56, just above the
laterally above the surface of the separator plate, said
upper surface of separator plate 21. It follows that an
injector including an air inlet passage entering the injector
extremely large volume of water and air is discharged
tube centering with the aforementioned nozzle, an air
into the chamber 23 imparting a high degree of aeration
supply duct extending from said inlet passage to a point
and turbulence to the water within the chamber, yet with
out the force or impact of a jet stream composed en
above the ?uid level of the tank; and a motor driven
tirely of liquid.
supply duct may function as a power operated drain for
centrifugal pump in said air supply duct whereby the air
It is essential, however, in order to obtain the most
the apparatus.
efficient circulatory action, that most or all of the air
2. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combination,
entrained in the water he removed before it is recircu 60 an open topped tank including generally upright side
lated through the pump 31. The removal of air is ac
Walls and a generally horizontal bottom, a separator plate
complished, ?rst, by the separator plate 21 which allows
comprising a horizontal ba?ie spaced above the bottom
water to ?ow into the quiescent ?uid chamber 24 only
of the tank to divide the interior thereof into a quiescent
through the restricted passageway 22, and secondly, by
?uid chamber below the ba?le and a turbulent ?uid cham
the oversize sump 26 and ?ared inlet ?tting 28 which
ber thereabove, said separator plate being spaced from
build up a head of pure, relatively quiet water above the
the upright walls of the tank around its peripheral edges
pump inlet conduit 38. As a result, the ?uid circulated
to provide narrow restricted passages adjacent the tank
through the pump and its conduits is almost pure water,
walls and interconnecting said chambers; a drain aperture
notwithstanding that the ?uid Within the turbulence
in the bottom of the tank located at a position beneath the
chamber 23 contains an exceedingly large volume of en
separator plate and remotefrom said restricted passages;
trained air.
a sump comprising a relatively large liquid container be
To drain the apparatus, no valves need be operated.
low the quiescent ?uid chamber to prevent pump suction
Instead, it is only necessary to energize pump 45 and
at the outlet from said chamber and connected thereto by
swing the drain spout 49 outwardly from the position
the aforementioned drain; a liquid inlet line extending
shown, in a convenient manner to direct ?uid emitted 75 from the sump to a circulating pump consisting of a mo
3,085,576
5
tor driven rotary impeller enclosed within a housing hav
ing inlet and outlet ?ttings thereon, an outlet duct from
said circulating pump extending to an air injector consist
ing of an upright nozzle and a horizontal conduit inlet of
same diameter reduced in diameter with respect to the
outlet duct of the pump and positioned substantially be
low the bottom of the tank, an aerating tube of diameter
substantially greater than the diameter of the nozzle ex
tending directly upwardly therefrom through the bottom
of the tank and the separator plate thereof and terminat
ing in an outlet ?tting having de?ecting means to direct
the ?ow of aerated ?uid laterally above the surface of
the separator plate, said injector including an air inlet
passage entering the injector tube centering with the afore
mentioned nozzle, an air supply duct extending from said
inlet passage to a point above the ?uid level of the tank.
6
substantially greater than the diameter of the nozzle ex
tending idirectly upwardly therefrom through the bottom
of the tank and the separator plate thereof and terminat
ing in an outlet ?tting having deflecting means to direct
the ?ow of aerated ?uid laterally above the surface of
the separator plate, said injector including an air inlet
passage entering the injector tube centering with the afore
mentioned nozzle, an air supply duct extending from said
inlet passage to a point above the ?uid level of the tank.
5. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combina
tion, an open topped tank including generally upright side
Walls and a generally horizontal bottom, a separator plate
comprising a horizontal ba?le spaced above the bottom
of the tank to divide the interior thereof into a quiescent
?uid chamber below the ba?le and a turbulent ?uid cham
3. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combination,
ber therelabove, said separator plate being spaced from
the upright walls of the tank around its peripheral edges
to provide narrow restricted passages adjacent the tank
an open topped tank including generally upright side walls
walls and interconnecting said chambers; liquid inlet pas
and a generally horizontal bottom, the side walls of the
tank extending downwardly beyond the bottom thereof to 20 sages extending from the quiescent ?uid chamber to a
circulating pump consisting of a motor driven rotary im
support the tank and to provide an enclosure for mecha
peller having spirally curved blades enclosed within a
nism associated therewith; a separator plate comprising a
housing having inlet and outlet ?ttings thereon, an outlet
horizontal ba?'le spaced above the bottom of the tank to
duct from said circulating pump extending to an air in
divide the interior thereof into a quiescent ?uid chamber
below the ba?le and a turbulent fluid chamber thereabove, 25 jector consisting of an upright nozzle and a horizontal
conduit inlet of same diameter reduced in diameter with
restricted passages interconnecting said chambers; a drain
respect to the outlet duct of the pump ‘and positioned sub
aperture in the bottom of the tank located at a position
stantially below the bottom of the tank and the separator
beneath the separator plate and remote from said restrict
plate thereof and terminating in an outlet ?tting having
ed passages; a sump comprising a relatively large liquid
de?ecting means to direct the ?ow of aerated ?uid later
container below the quiescent ?uid chamber to prevent
ally above the surface of the separator plate, said injector
pump suction at the outlet from said chamber and con
including an air inlet passage entering the injector tube
nected thereto by the aforementioned drain; a liquid inlet
centering with the aforementioned nozzle outlet, an air
line extending from the sump to a circulating pump con
supply duct extending from said inlet passage to a motor
sisting of a motor driven rotary impeller having spirally
curved blades enclosed within a housing having inlet and 35 driven centrifugal pump whereby the air supply duct may
function as ‘a power operated drain for the apparatus.
outlet ?ttings thereon, an outlet duct from said circulating
.6. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combina
pump extending to an air injector consisting of an up
tion, an open topped tank including generally upright side
right nozzle and a horizontal air inlet, both of the same
diameter reduced in diameter with respect to the outlet
walls and a generally horizontal bottom, a separator plate
duct of the pump and positioned substantially below the 40 to divide the interior thereof into a quiscent ?uid cham
bottom of the tank, an aerating tube of diameter substan
ber below the baffle and a turbulent ?uid chamber there
tially greater than the diameter of the nozzle extending
directly upwardly therefrom through the bottom of the
above, liquid inlet passages extending tom the quiescent
?uid chamber to a circulating pump consisting of a motor
tank and the separator plate thereof and terminating in an
driven rotary impeller having spirally curved blades en
outlet ?tting having de?ecting means to direct the ?ow 45 closed within a housing having inlet and outlet ?ttings
of serated ?uid laterally above the surface of the sep
thereon, an outlet duct from said circulating pump! ex
arator plate, said injector including an air inlet passage
tending to an air injector consisting of an upright nozzle
entering the injector tube centering with the aforemen
and a horizontal conduit inlet of same diameter reduced
tioned nozzle, an air supply duct extending from said
in diameter with respect to the outlet duct of the pump
inlet passage to a point above the ?uid level of the tank;
and positioned substantially below the bottom of the tank
and a motor driven centrifugal pump in said air supply
and the separator plate thereof and terminating in an out
duct whereby the air supply duct may function as a power
let ?tting having de?ecting means to direct the ?ow of
operated drain for the apparatus.
aerated ?uid laterally above the surface of the separator
4. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combina
plate, said injector including an air inlet passage entering
tion, an open topped tank including generally upright
the injector tube centering with the aforementioned nozzle,
side walls and a generally horizontal bottom, a separator
an air supply duct extending from said inlet passage to a
plate comprising a horizontal b'af?e spaced above the
motor driven centrifugal pump whereby the air supply
bottom of the tank to divide the interior thereof into a
duct may function as a power operated ‘drain for the
quiescent ?uid chamber below the baffle and a turbulent
?uid chamber thereabove, restricted passages intercon
necting said chambers; a ‘drain aperture in the bottom
of the tank located at a position beneath the separator
apparatus.
7. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combina
tion, an open topped tank including generally upright side
walls and a generally horizontal bottom, the side walls
plate and remote from said restricted passages; a sump
of the tank extending downwardly beyond the bottom
comprising a relatively large liquid container below the
thereof to support the tank and to provide an enclosure
quiescent ?uid chamber to prevent pump section at the 65 for mechanism associated therewith; a drain aperture in
outlet from said chamber and connected thereto by the
the bottom of the tank, a sump comprising a relatively
aforementioned drain; a liquid inlet line extending from
the sump to 'a ‘circulating pump consisting of a motor
driven rotary impeller enclosed within a housing having
inlet and outlet ?ttings thereon, an outlet duct from said
circulating pump extending to an air injector consisting
of an upright nozzle and a horizontal conduit inlet of
same diameter reduced in {diameter with respect to the
outlet duct of the pump positioned substantially below
the bottom of the tank, an aerating tube of diameter 75
large liquid container to prevent pump suction at tank
outlet, connected with the aforementioned drain; a liquid
inlet line extending from the sump to a circulating pump
consisting of a motor driven rotary impeller having
spirally curved blades enclosed within a housing having
inlet and outlet ?ttings thereon, an outlet duct from said
circulating pump extending to an air injector consisting
of an upright nozzle and a horizontal conduit inlet of
same diameter reduced in diameter with respect to the
3,085,576
outlet duct of the pump and positioned substantially be
low the bottom of the tank and centrally thereof, an
aerating tube of diameter substantially greater than the
diameter of the nozzle extending directly upwardly there
from through the bottom of the tank ‘and terminating in
a radial outlet ?tting having de?ecting means to direct
the flow of aerated ?uid laterally, said injector including
8
9. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combination,
an open topped tank including generally upright side
walls and a generally horizontal bottom; a separator plate
comprising a horizontal ba?ie spaced above the bottom
of the tank to divide the interior thereof into a quiescent
?uid chamber below the baf?e and a turbulent ?uid cham
ber thereabove, said separator plate being spaced from the
an air inlet passage entering the injector tube centering
upright walls of the tank around its peripheral edges to
with the aforementioned nozzle, an air supply duct extend
provide narrow restricted passages adjacent the tank walls
ing from said inlet passage to a point above the ?uid 10 and interconnecting said chambers; an air injector con
level of the tank; and a motor driven centrifugal pump in
sisting of a source of ?uid under pressure interconnected
said air supply duct whereby the air supply duct may
with an upright nozzle positioned substantially below the
bottom'of the tank and centrally thereof, an aerating tube
8. Hydrotherapy apparatus comprising, in combination,
of diameter substantially greater than the diameter of the
an open topped tank including generally upright side walls 15 nozzle extending directly upwardly therefrom through the
and a ‘generally horizontal bottom; a drain aperture in
bottom of the tank and the separator plate thereof and
the bottom of the tank, a sump comprising a relatively
terminating in a radial outlet ?tting having de?ecting
large liquid container to prevent pump suction at tank bot
means to direct the ?ow of aerated ?uid laterally above
tom connected with the aforementioned drain; a liquid
the surface of the separator plate, said injector including
inlet line extending from the sump to a circulating pump 20 an air inlet passage entering the injector tube centering
consisting of a motor driven rotary impeller having
with the aforementioned nozzle.
spirally curved blades enclosed within a housing having
inlet and outlet ?ttings ‘thereon, an outlet duct from said
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
circulating pump extending to an air injector consisting
UNITED STATES PATENTS
function as a power operated drain for the apparatus.
of an upright nozzle and a horizontal conduit inlet of 25
same diameter reduced in diameter with respect to the
outlet duct of the pump and positioned substantially below
the bottom of the tank and centrally thereof, an aerating
tube of diameter substantially greater than the diameter
‘of the nozzle extending directly upwardly therefrom
through the bottom of the tank and terminating in a
radial outlet ?tting having de?ecting means to direct the
?ow of aerated ?uid laterally, said injector including an
air inlet passage entering the injector tube centering with
the aforementioned nozzle.
964,779
Holaday _____________ _- July 19, 1910
1,101,804
1,526,179
Lauter ______________ __ June 30, 1914
Parr ________________ .__ Feb. 10, 1925
2,091,167
Solley ______________ __ Aug. 24, 1937
2,312,524
2,509,130
2,614,498
2,730,104
2,738,787
Cox ________________ __ Mar. 2,
Burks ______________ .. May 23,
Piccardo _____________ __ Oct. 21,
Newman ____________ __ Jan. 10,
Jacuzzi _____________ .._ Mar. 20,
1943
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1956
1956
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