US 3092844 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
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United States Patent Oli lce 3,092,844 Patented .lune 1l, 1963 This invention relates to swimming pools and more particularly to safety apparatus for a pool.
Apparatus of this invention comprises a net or screen platform which is adapted to be raised and lowered in a pool to and between a submerged position adjacent the pool bottom and an elevated position proximate the water surface in the pool. The platform extends substantially throughout the expanse of the pool and is strong enough to lift a person up above the surface of the water in the pool.
It is contemplated that in some cases a pool owner or custodian may desire to have a safety platform of this invention normally maintained in its submerged position and to have the platform raised automatically should someone enter the pool at a time when the pool is not attended by authorized or responsible persons or at a time when it is intended that the pool not be used. It is an object f this invention to provide safety apparatus of the above-mentioned character which will operate automatically in this fashion in response to a persons entering the pool.
lt is further contemplated that in some instances one who owns or keeps a swimming pool may desire to have a safety platform of this invention normally maintained in a raised position and then to have the platform lowered at a time for swimming in the pool. Also, users of the pool may desire that at certain times, as when small children are present, the pool be used for wading purposes only. Apparatus embodying this invention may be operated easily and simply to serve these purposes.
Another object of this invention is to provide a safety apparatus of the above-mentioned character which when installed in a pool having a bottom of varying degrees of slope in its shallow and deep parts, the screen or platform of the apparatus, when in its lowered position, will conform to the slopes of the pool bottom thus to become positioned as low as possible in the pool.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following part of this specication wherein the details of construction and mode of operation of a presently preferred embodiment are described with reference to the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. l is a central longitudinal vertical section through a conventional swimming pool provided with safety apparatus embodying this invention, the safety apparatus being shown in side elevation and in a submerged position;
|FIG. 2 is a plan view of the pool with the safety apparatus being in its lowered position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to that of FIG. l but showing the platform of the safety apparatus in an elevated position;
FIG. 4 is a detail view of a portion of the platform shown in plan and on an enlarged scale;
FIG. 5 is side view `of a hinge of the plat-form, taken in the direction of arrows 5--5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a side view of another hinge of the platform shown in heavy lines in one operational position thereof with respect to a portion of a side of the pool, and in 'broken lines in another position thereof;
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the hinge of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a side elevation showing a hinge Structure by which the platform is connected atop a shaft for raising the platform;
FIG. 9 is `a side elevation of a cyclinder and associated parts by means of which the platform is operated; and,
FIG. 10 is a combination wiring diagram and schematic representation of a control system for automatic operation of the platform.
Referring to the drawing in greater detail, there is illustrated a swimming pool, designated generally by reference numeral 10, the same being of a conventional rectangular form with its bottom having a shallow end part 12, a middle sloping part 13 and a deep part 14. The upwardly extending peripheral sides or walls of the pool are its two side walls 16 and 17 and its two end walls 19 and 20. Shallow part 12 of the pool bottom slopes slightly downwardly from the end wall 19 and meets the middle part 13 along a rounded angle place 22 from which the middle part slopes further downwardly such that the degree of downward slope of the middle part 13 with respect to the horizontal is greater than that of the shallow part 12. The deep part 14 converges with the middle part along a rounded angle place 23 in the pool bottom. The plane of the deep part slopes slightly upwardly with respect to the horizontal and converges with the end wall 20 along a rounded corner 24 which in the illustrated case is of relatively large radius.
A coping 26 extends around the pool at the top of the pool Walls. Below the level of the coping and formed in the pool walls is a circumferentially continuous gutter 27 having a rim 28 over which water 3l) from in the pool ows to the gutter, the rim thereby determining the height to which the pool may be filled with water. Also the pool 10 is provided with a conventional ladder 31.
The illustrated embodiment of a safety platform of this invention is designated generally by reference numeral 34. It is formed of three sections to correspond with the shallow, intermediate and deep parts of the pool bottom, the platform having a shallow end section 36, a middle section 37 and a deep end section 38. For the illustrated embodiment each platform section is formed of a frame 40 of rigid tubing or pipe, and a wire screen 41 which spans the frame and is wrapped around the pipe of the frame or is otherwise suitably secured to the frame.
The platform sections are hinged together in a way such that when the platform is disposed in its lowermost position kas shown in FIG. l of the drawing, it will conform to the shape of the pool bottom, and when disposed in its elevated position, as shown in FIG. 3, the several platform sections will lie in a common horizontal plane at or near the surface of the water in the pool. The shallow end section 36 of the platform is pivotally connected to the middle section 37 so as to swing downwardly from the plane of the middle section while the deep end section 38 is pivotally connected to the middle section so as to swing upwardly from the plane of the middle section.
Hinges 43 pivotally connect the shallow end sectionl 36 of the platform to the middle section. For the illustrated embodiment there are two such hinges 43, one at each side of the platform. The section 36 has corner jogs 44 formed therein for accommodating the hinges 43. Each hinge 43 comprises a fork 46 which extends from the frame 4of the platform middle section 37 into the jog 44, an arm 43 which extends from the platform section 36 into the fork 46, and a pin or bolt 49 which pivotally connects the fork and arm.
. The shallow section 36 of the platform has two lever arms 52 at opposite sides thereof, each lever arm being secured at one end 53 thereof to the platform section and being free at its other end 54. From its place of Vsecurement, the lever arm extends beyond the line o-f the hinges 43 to and between a side of the platform'middle section and its adjacent side wall of the pool. Each side wall of the pool has a lug 56 projecting out therefrom, the lugs being in vertical alignment with the free ends 54 of the lever arms respectively. In the illustrated embodiment the lever arms 52 extend generally in the planeV ,of the platform section 36, and the lugs 56 are at a height to @be generally even with the platform when the platform is raised (-by power means to be described hereinafter) to its uppermost extent. When the platform is in its lowered position upon the pool bottom with the shallow section 36 sloping downwardly with respect to the plane of the middle section 37 of the platform, the lever arms 52 will extend above the level of the middle section, as is shown in FIG. l of the drawing. The platform of the illustrated embodiment is raised by an upward force directed against the middle section of the platform, the middle section carrying the pivoted end sections 36 and 38 along with it. To maintain ther-hinged end lsection 36 at least near a horizontal position as the platform is being raised, there is a limiting means, here in the 'form of a chain 58 fastened at one end to the free end of the lever arm 52 and at its other end `to the frame of the middle `section 37 of the platform, for limiting the extent to which the shallow section 36 of the platform may swing downwardly with respect to the plane of thek middle section 37. When the platform approaches its most elevated position the lever yarms 52 will engage the under- -surfaces of the lugs S6', and with continued upward movement of the platform, the lever arms in engagement with the Ilugs will swing the shallow section 36 of the platform g upwardly in a clockwise direction as viewed in IFIGS. 1
and 3, ,until the -shallow section is level with the middle section of the platform.
The Ideep end section 38 of ythe platform is pivotally connected to the middle ysection by hinges 60 which are located -at the platform sides, there being corner jogs 61 and 62 in the platform section 38 for accommodating the Ihinges 6i). The corner jog y61 which is in that side of the platform adjacent the pool side wall 16, is made large Venough to accommodate the pool ladder such that the platform will clear, the ladder Ias the platform is raised to its elevated position. Each of the hinges 60 is formed of arms 64 and `65 extending from the `frames of the two section-s respectively, these `:hinge arms being pivotally pinned together at 66. The deep section 38 of the platform will swing upwardly with respect to the plane of wthe intermediate section 37 when the platform is in its lo-werrnostY position thus to lie close upon the pool bottom. There is a lug 68 (FIG. 5) on the hinge arm 65 of the middle Vsection 37, and this lug extends under the hinge yarm 64 of the platform section 38 whereby as .the platform is raised, with the intermediate section 37 assuming a horizontal position, the lugs 68 will engage the hinge arms 64 of the platform section 38 and thereby prevent swinging o-f the section 38 in a clockwise direction Y on its pivots 66 beyond -orrbelow the plane of the platform middle section. Thus when the platform is in its Y highest position, the deep end section 38 of the platform,
A being supported by the middle section 37, will lie in the plane of the middle section.
As thus far described, it will be apparent that platforms of the illustrated type may be formed -according to this invention to provide that one section of the platform swing downwardly with respect to a reference section and that another section swing upwardly with respect to the reference section. For the purpose of illustrating a means other .than hinges for varying the shape or size of a plat lform whereby the platform will lie close upon the pool bottom, the deep end section 38 of the platform is shown as being formed of three screen segments which are so constructed and arranged with respect to each other as to allow the Vdeep end section 38 to vary in that dimension thereof which extends longitudinally of the pool so that the deep end section will accommodate itself to the configuration of the pool bottom allowing for the upwardly rounded part 24 of the pool. These three segments of the platform section 38 yare a carrying segment 70, an end segment 71, and a skirt segment 72. The frames of rigid tubes for the segments 70 and 71 have arms 74 and extending therefrom respectively, these arms telescoping one within the other. A coil spring 76 biases .the end segment 71 outwardly from a carrying segment 7i?. Rollers 78 on that end of the end segment 71 which is adjacent the pool end walls 20 allow the end segment 71 to engage the rounded part 24 of the pool through the rollers 78 so that as the platform is being lowered the end segment 71 will be urged toward the carrying segment 70 thus t-o shorten the longitudinal dimension of the deep lend section 38 of the platform and cause it to iit close against the deep part 14 of the pool bottom. The skirt -segment 72 is secured to the end segment 71 and extends between the two segments 70 and 71 and under the segment 70 thus to provide a `screen in that portion of the platform between the platform segments 70 and 71.
For the illustrated case, the platform 34 is adapted to be raised by hydraulic pressure. There is an elongate and vertically extending cylinder 81 positioned in a well 82 under the pool bottom. Within the cylinder is a piston 84. A piston rod or shaft 85 extends from the piston and up through the upper end wall 86 of the cylinder. A plate 88 is secured upon the upper end of the shaft 85 and is disposed in a horizontal plane. Another plate 90 is adapted to rest upon the plate 88 when the platformy is in its elevated position, these plates being hinged together as by a pin 91 which extends in a direction transversely of the platform and pivotally connects the plates along those sides or edges thereof which are proximate the deep end of the pool. The plate 90 is secured to the underside of the platform as on support ribs 93 which constitute part of the frame of the middle section of the platform. The plate 90 is secured to the platform at `a position slightly to the right, as viewed in FIGS. l and 2, of the center of gravity of the platform whereby as the shaft 85 exerts an upward force upon the platform, the middle section of the platform will swing in a counterelockwise direction as viewed in FIG. l, swinging on its pivotal axis 91 until the middle section becomes disposed in a horizontal plane, carrying the other two sections 36 Vand 38 along with it as described above, i
In order to maintain the middle section of the platform disposed in a horizontal plane when the platform is spaced above the pool bottom, there is a pawl 95, pivoted at 96 to the upper plate 90 of the hinge mount which connects the platform Vmiddle section to the shaft 85,
and this pawl is engageable with the underside of theY Y and approaches its lowermost position, the free end of the lever 98 will contact the pool bottom near or at the bend 22 of the surface of the pool bottom, and continued downward movement of the platform will cause the pawl to swing on its pivot 96 in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIGS. 1 and 3 whereby the hook 99 of the pawl will become disengaged from the hinge plate 88 thus allowing the platform to swing in a clockwise direction on its pivot 91. When the platform is raised above the bottom surface of the pool the weight of the lever 98 will swing the pawl in a counter-clockwise direction for engagement with the lower plate 88 of the hinge mount for the platform.
In the illustrated embodiment, the fluid for hydraulically lifting the pool platform is water from a supply pipe 161. In this case the pipe is connected to the lower end of the cylinder S1. An inlet valve 103 in the pipe 161 controls the flow of water to the cylinder. An outlet pipe 105 from the lower end of the cylinder is controlled by an outlet valve 106, the outlet pipe 105 leading to a sump 107 (gravel pit) under the pool. A vent pipe 109 opens the upper end of the cylinder 81 to the pool.
It is apparent that when the outlet valve 166 is closed and the inlet valve 163 is open, water from the supply pipe 191 will act upon the piston 84 in the hydraulic cylinder to raise the piston with water behind the piston passing out through the vent 109 into the pool. When the piston has reached the upper end of the cylinder, the platform will have reached its upper limit and Will be maintained in that position so long as the inlet valve 1133 is open to provide water pressure against the piston. To lower the platform, for the illustrated hydraulic system, it is necessary to close the inlet valve and to open the outlet valve whereby water under the piston will be emptied to the sump to drain slowly through the earth formation under the pool.
A system for automatically controlling operation of the platform, as to raise the platform should some unauthorized person enter the pool, is schematically illustrated in FIG. l0 of the drawing. In the illustrated case, the control system is one having four photoelectric cells 112 positioned at respective corners of the pool whereby they provide a series of electromagnetic radiations or light rays circumscribing the pool. These photoelectric cells are connected in series with each other and with a normally closed switch r114 in a `control circuit having a battery 115 and a relay 117, the relay actuating a switch arm 11S. The relay 117 is one in which its switch 118 is normally open when the relay is energized. lt is apparent that should a person cross a line between any two of the photoelectric cells 112 at consecutive corners of the rectangular pool thereby to open the electric circuit through the cells, or should one manually open the switch 114, then the relay 117 will be deenergized and its switch arm 118 will swing from the full line position thereof to the broken line position 118.
The relay switch 11S is connected in a house circuit (110 volts) which includes a solenoid 120 for operating the water inlet valve 133. Contacts 122 and 123 in the house circuit are bridged by the relay switch arm 118. The solenoid valve 103, 120 is one which is biased to close when cle-energized. When the relay 117 is deenergized, thereby to close the relay switch 118, the solenoid valve 103, 12@ will become energized and will open to allow flow of Water into the cylinder 81 for raising the safety platform.
ln order to maintain the relay switch 118 in its circuit closed position 118 once the relay l11'7 is tripped, so as to hold the water inlet valve 103 open thus to keep the platform in its elevated position until released, there is a pawl 125 :of a relay 126, the pawl being operatively associated with the relay switch 118 for holding the switch 118 in its circuit closed (broken line) position. A circuit 123 for the relay 126 is controlled by a switch 129 so that when it is desired to allow the Water inlet valve 103 to close, the relay 126 may be energized to 6 move the p'awl 125 out of holding engagement with the switch arm 118 .thus to open the valve circuit and thereby permits the valve to close.
For operating the water outlet valve 106 there is a solenoid 131 controlled by a switch 132. Solenoid 113-1 is one which when de-energized allows the outlet valve to normally remain closed and when energized to open the outlet valve. With the inlet valve 103 closed and the outlet valve 106 open, water will drain from the cylinder 81 thereby alloying .the safety platform Ito drop.
It -is obvious that the apparatus may be operated to move fthe safety platform up to a level spaced below the surface of the water in the pool, as for wading purposes, i.e. by closing the switch 129 when the platform has been raised to the desired position, thus to trip the pawl 1-25 and thereby cause the water inlet valve 103 .to close.
When the platform has been raised to a position of selected elevation, and should it be desired to keep the platforro in that position for an extended period of time, tie means in the for-m of straps 134 are provided for suspending the platform from the top of the pool. -In the illustrated case each such strap loops around a side bar of the platform frame and has a Ibuckle 1135 for convenience in adjusting the length of the strap, and a T-bolt 136 is suitably connected to lthe strap. The pool coping has metal plates 137 secured in the top surface thereof and these plates have T-slots 138 formed therein for accommodating the T-bolts 136 of the tieing straps respecticely. Should it be desired to secure the platform in a highest position whereby the platform will serve as a cover, for example, as in the wintertime, it is necessary only to engage the T-bolts 136 in their respective T-slots and to tighten the straps as through their buckles. When it is desired to suspend the platform in a position `'below the surface of the water in the pool, Jthe straps 134 may |be adjusted to whatever length is needed to reach from the T-slots in the pool coping to the platform in the selected position thereof. ln the illustrated example where no tieing straps 134 and attachment plates 137 are prorvided for directly suspending the mid-section 37 of the platform, such mid-section will not sag below a level determined by the chain connection 58 between the platform sections 37 and 37.
While the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized lthat departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not fto be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as t0 embrace any and all equivalent devices.
What I claim is:
1. A safety apparatus for a swimming pool having an 4elongate inclined bottom Wall and upwardly extending peripheral walls and with one end of the pool being deeper than its other end, said safety apparatus comprising a screen adapted to conform to the configuration of the pool bottom, means for moving the screen to and between a submerged position adjacent the bottom wall and an elevated position proximate the top of said pool, said means comprising a vertically extending hydraulic cylinder positioned under and centrally of the pool, a piston said cylinder, a shaft extending vertically from said piston to said screen, a pivot mount secured upon the upper end of the shaft, a pin for pivotally attaching the underside of said screen to said mount along a pivotal axis extending transversely of the screen whereby the screen is swingable on said pivotal axis to a position paralleling the slant of said bottom wall when the screen -is in its lowered posit-ion and the screen is swingable on said pivotal -aX-is to a position extending horizontally when the .pool is in its elevated position, means on the screen engageable with said mount for preventing turning of the screen on said axis beyond said horizontal position with respect to said slant position and valve controlled fluid supply system connected to said cylinder for admitting fluid pressure to said cylinder thereby to drive the piston in the cylinder.
' 2. A safety apparatus according to claim 1 and comprising a pawl on said screen engageable with said mount when the screen is in its said honizontal position thereby to =ho1d the screen in said horizontal position when the screen is in its said elevated position, .and a lever Iconnected to said pawl andv operatively engageable with the bottom Wallof the pool when t-he screen is in its said lowered position to release said pawl from engagement with said lmount and thereby permit turn-ing of the screen on said pivotal axis from said horizontally extending position to said slant position. s
References Cited in the le of this patent n UNITED STATES PATENTS Johnson Dec. 9, Torrance July 18, P-inckard Nov. 12, Turner Mar. 15, Shook et al. Nov. l, Karp Feb. 7,
FOREIGN PATENTS Germany Sept. 16,