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Publication numberUS20060112480 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/998,390
Publication dateJun 1, 2006
Filing dateNov 29, 2004
Priority dateNov 29, 2004
Also published asCA2523529A1
Publication number10998390, 998390, US 2006/0112480 A1, US 2006/112480 A1, US 20060112480 A1, US 20060112480A1, US 2006112480 A1, US 2006112480A1, US-A1-20060112480, US-A1-2006112480, US2006/0112480A1, US2006/112480A1, US20060112480 A1, US20060112480A1, US2006112480 A1, US2006112480A1
InventorsThomas Sisk
Original AssigneeMasco Corporation
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum relief valve
US 20060112480 A1
Abstract
A vacuum relief valve releases vacuum force at a pool suction cover when the suction cover is obstructed. A valve plunger rests against a valve seat within a valve body under normal pool operating conditions. A biasing member maintains the valve plunger against the valve seat. The biasing member compresses and moves the valve plunger to a position away from the valve seat when the suction cover is obstructed. Once the obstruction is removed, the valve plunger is automatically returned to its resting position against the valve seat. The valve body is attached to fluid conduit that carries a source of air to the pump when the valve plunger is moved away from the valve seat.
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Claims(10)
1. A pool system, comprising: p1 a pool body; p1 a suction cover built within said pool body; p1 a pump that communicates with said suction cover; and p1 a vacuum relief valve located in a piping system on a suction side of said pump, said vacuum relief valve allowing a source of air to enter said piping system and cavitate said pump responsive to blockage of said suction cover and automatically block said source of air responsive to said suction cover becoming unblocked.
2. The pool system as recited in claim 1, wherein said pump communicates with said suction cover via said piping system.
3. The pool system as recited in claim 1, wherein said source of air is atmosphere.
4. The pool system as recited in claim 1, wherein said vacuum relief valve includes a valve body, a valve plunger and a biasing member.
5. The pool system as recited in claim 4, wherein said valve body defines a flow path between said source of air and said piping system.
6. The pool system as recited in claim 4, wherein said valve plunger is positioned within said valve body.
7. The pool system as recited in claim 4, wherein said biasing member is attached to said valve plunger, said biasing member operative to compress and selectively locate said valve plunger in an open position allowing said source of air to enter said piping system and cavitate said pump.
8. The pool system as recited in claim 4, wherein said biasing member is operative to automatically decompress and selectively locate said valve plunger in a closed position responsive to said suction cover becoming unblocked thereby blocking said source of air from entering said piping system.
9. The pool system as recited in claim 8, wherein said valve plunger is horizontally slideable along a plurality of valve plunger guides in said valve body responsive to said biasing member compressing and decompressing.
10. The pool system as recited in claim 9, wherein said valve body defines a cylindrical boss, said cylindrical boss maintaining the positioning of said biasing member within said valve body.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a vacuum relief valve for a pool system.

Conventional water circulation systems for swimming pools, whirlpools and the like typically include a suction pump and one or more suction covers built into the bottom or side of the pool and connected to the suction side of the pump. During normal water circulation operation, water is drawn through a line via the suction pump and circulated through any of filtration, aeration, chemical treatment and other equipment, prior to being returned to the pool body via return jets.

Large volumes of water are pumped through suction covers of this type, and as a result suction forces at the suction cover may become extremely high. The suction force can become so extreme that when a human body part comes into contact with the suction cover the body part may become trapped in the suction cover.

Safety valves that continuously draw air into the suction side of a pump are known. Disadvantageously, these safety valves compromise the performance of the pump and the return jets. Safety valves that automatically open and bleed air to the pump when a suction cover becomes blocked are also known. However, these safety valves are complex in design and manufacture. Also, once these valves have been tripped, it is necessary to manually reset the valves.

Accordingly, it is desirable to provide a safety valve which is not complex and that does not detract from the performance of the pump and return jets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A vacuum relief valve assembly according to the present invention provides vacuum relief at a pool suction cover when the vacuum at a suction cover becomes excessive.

The vacuum relief valve assembly of the present invention includes a valve body, a valve plunger and a biasing member. The valve plunger is located within the valve body and rests against a valve seat when the pool water circulation system is operating under normal conditions. The biasing member is attached to the valve plunger and maintains the valve plunger against the valve seat under normal operating conditions.

The valve body defines a flow path between atmosphere and a fluid conduit. When a pool suction cover becomes obstructed by a body part or the like, the suction force of the pump increases thereby overcoming the biasing force of the biasing member. The biasing member then compresses and moves the valve plunger away from the valve seat. Atmosphere enters the fluid conduit and is carried to the pump thereby cavitating the pump and causing the suction force at the suction cover to drop. Once the suction cover is unobstructed, the biasing member decompresses and the valve plunger returns to its resting position against the valve seat. There is no need for manual resetting.

The vacuum relief valve assembly of the present invention provides an uncomplicated vacuum relief valve that eliminates the need for manual reset after an obstruction is removed from the pool suction cover.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The various features and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of the currently preferred embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can be briefly described as follows:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of a pool water circulation system utilizing a vacuum relief valve assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a vacuum relief valve of the present invention when in a closed position.

FIG. 2A is a cross sectional view of the vacuum relief valve shown in FIG. 2 along section 2A.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a vacuum relief valve of the present invention when in an open position.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a vacuum relief valve assembly of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 1, a pool water circulation system incorporating a vacuum relief valve assembly 10 of the present invention is illustrated. A pool body 12 includes a suction cover 14 at its bottom. It should be understood that when the term pool is used in the present specification it includes but is not limited to swimming pools, spas, whirlpools, bathtubs, ponds, lakes, etc.

During normal pool water circulation operating conditions, pump 16 creates a suction force at the suction cover 14 thereby causing fluid to enter a piping system 18. The piping system 18 carries the fluid from the suction cover 14 of the pool body 12 to various equipment stages such as a sanitizer 20, a filter 22 and a heater 24. The fluid is then delivered back to the pool body 12 at an inlet fitting 26 via the piping system 18.

The vacuum relief valve assembly 10 is located on the suction side of the pump 16. In the event the suction cover 14 becomes obstructed, the pump 16 creates increased vacuum pressure at the suction cover 14. Subsequently, the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 allows a source of air, such as atmosphere, to enter the piping system 18 and thereby cavitate the pump. The vacuum level at the suction cover 14 consequently drops. In the event the obstruction is caused by an occupant of the pool, when the vacuum pressure is relieved, the occupant should be able to move away from the suction cover 14. Once the suction cover 14 becomes unobstructed, the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 automatically returns to a normal position and prevents atmosphere from entering the piping system 18.

Referring to FIG. 2, a cylindrical shaped valve body 28 of the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 is a single-piece injection molded part. The valve body 28 defines a flow path 31 along axis A for a source of air, such as atmosphere, to enter. A valve plunger 30 is positioned within the valve body 28 and rests against a valve seat 32. The flow path 31 is a pathway formed completely through the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 along axis A that communicates with the source of air so that when the valve body 28 rests against the valve seat 32, atmosphere is kept from entering the flow path 31. The flow path 31 communicates with the piping system 18 at an end opposite the valve body 28 from the valve seat 32. The valve body 28 and the valve plunger 30 are preferably constructed of PVC. The valve seat 32 is preferably constructed of a resilient material such as rubber. It should be understood that other materials may be utilized in the construction of the valve body 28, the valve plunger 30 and the valve seat 32 of the present invention.

A biasing member 34 is located within the valve body 28 and is attached between the valve plunger 30 and the inner side of the valve body 28. The biasing member 34 maintains the valve plunger 30 firmly against the valve seat 32. Preferably, the biasing member is a spring. It should be understood that other types of biasing members may be utilized. Pressure spacers 36 may be utilized as support for the biasing member 34 on an inner side of the valve body 28. The pressure spacers 36 provide the biasing member 34 with increased force to maintain the valve plunger 30 against the valve seat 32 when utilizing the pump 16 which has a high horsepower output.

The valve body 28 of the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 defines a cylindrical boss 33 which maintains the biasing member 34 in proper position within the valve body 28. The inner diameter of the biasing member 34 is greater than the outside diameter of the cylindrical boss 33, therefore allowing the biasing member to fit over the cylindrical boss 33 at the inner side of the valve body 28.

Referring to FIG. 2A, the valve body 28 further defines four valve plunger guides 35 located at 90 degrees from one another. The valve plunger guides 35 facilitate the proper tracking of the valve plunger 30 along each of four guide surfaces 37. The four guide surfaces 37 are parallel to the flow path 31. The valve plunger 30 maintains contact at the four guide surfaces 37 and is unable to cock when moving away or towards the valve seat 32 in the event the suction cover 14 becomes blocked or unblocked.

Referring again to FIG. 2, a valve cap 38 fits over the outer side of the valve body 28. Preferably, the valve cap 38 is manufactured of PVC. It should be understood that other materials may be utilized in the construction of the valve cap 38. The valve cap 38 is preferably removable so as to allow for replacement of the valve plunger 30 or the biasing member 34 in the case of damage.

Referring to FIG. 3, a vacuum relief valve is shown in an open position. The valve body 28 functions in an open position when a suction cover 14 becomes obstructed. As a result of the obstruction a pump 16 increases vacuum force at the suction cover 14. The increased vacuum has the effect of overcoming the biasing force of the biasing member 34. The biasing member 34 then compresses and the valve plunger 30 moves away from the valve seat 32. Atmosphere is thus permitted to enter the valve body 28 and travel to the pump 16 via the flow path 31. The atmosphere cavitates the pump and causes the vacuum at suction cover 14 to decrease. The suction cover 14 becomes unobstructed and the valve plunger 30 automatically returns to a position against the valve seat 32 as is shown in FIG. 2.

Referring to FIG. 4, a valve body 28 is attached to a fluid conduit 40. The fluid conduit 40 is a 90 offset elbow. The fluid conduit 40 is capable of being right aligned or left aligned. This allows the vacuum relief valve assembly 10 of the present invention to be implemented into the piping system 18 of existing water circulation systems on the suction side of the pump 16 regardless of where the pump 16 is installed in the water circulation system of the pool.

That the foregoing description shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense is thus made apparent. A worker of ordinary skill in the art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7300576 *Aug 2, 2005Nov 27, 2007Shasta Industries, Inc.Pool cleaning system and safety skimmer
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/507
International ClassificationE04H4/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H4/12
European ClassificationE04H4/12
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 29, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: MASCO CORPORATION, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SISK, THOMAS J.;REEL/FRAME:016037/0830
Effective date: 20041123