US 3254355 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 7, 1966 J. R. SHAW SWIMMING POOL CLEANING DEVICE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 22. 1965 To Conventional Vacuum Source :EIELl 37 Motor Cut-Off Switch as 84 e7 as Motor Cu1'0ff Switch Arm INVENTOR.
JAMES R. SHAW ATTORNEYS June 7, 1966 J. R. SHAW 3,254,355
SWIMMING POOL CLEANING DEVICE Filed Jan. 22 1965 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. JAMES R. SHAW ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,254,355 SWIMMING POOL CLEANING DEVICE James R. Shaw, 15 Beaconsfield Court, Orinda, Calif. Filed Jan. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 427,320 6 Claims. (Cl. 151.7)
This invention relates to a cleaning device for swimming pools and the like and more particularly to a device which maybe adapted to pools that are bounded by walls describing irregular, as well as regular, shapes.
In the normal course of usage a swimming pool, and more particularly the bottom of the pool, acquires a certain amount of silt, dirt and other objectional residue. Hence it is necessary periodically to clean the bottom of such pools either manually or with the assistance of vacuum cleaner heads that are well-known expedients in the art.
Numerous attempts have been made to design devices that may accomplish the task of cleaning a swimming pool bottom or the like in a relatively automatic manner with minimum attendance by an operator. Some devices of this type with which I am familiar involve completely submerged mechanisms such as those shown in the US.
patents to Babcock, Nos. 2,923,954 and 2,988,762. Such devices, however, involve problems of making certain portions of the drive mechanism completely water tight. In addition, once the cleaning device is placed in operation in a pool, there is no-positive control over the traversing action of the cleaning head which is necessary to assure effective cleaning of the pool or tank bottom. Also, this type of device, because it is completely submerged, makes the use of an internal combustion engine as its propelling source impracticable, and the use of electrical devices in and around swimming pools may create a hazard to persons and property in the vicinity.
Another type of device with which I am familiar separates the cleaning head from the driving machinery by means of a floating device directly over the former as shown in the US. patent to Dulak, No. 2,646,889. However, here too there is no positive control over the sweeping motion of the device so that cleaning, particularly where the shape of the pool may be irregular or of a free form type, becomes extremely difiicult if not impossible.
Thus it is an object of the present invention to provide a cleaning device which may be adapted to clean a surface whose boundaries are relatively irregular and whose crosssectional profile varies depending on the depth of the pool. To assure positive action of the cleaning operation, structure is provided to movably span at least one major dimension of the surface to be cleaned upon which a movable carriage is mounted to provide vertically movable support for a vacuum cleaner head'which is then free to follow the profile of the surface being cleaned below.
A feature and an advantage of this invention is that all of the propelling mechanism is completely controlled above the surface of the pool or tank so that a positive cleaning pattern may be accomplished.
Another advantage of this system is that by having the source of power for driving my cleaning device above the surface of the water in the pool being cleaned, an ordinary gasoline engine, for example, may be employed. This eliminates the hazards attendant the use of electrical devices in such an environment and provides a self-propelling unit without the inconvenience of finding an electrical source outlet and having extension cords strung thereto.
Another object of this invention is to provide novel inching means mounted on the carriage structure which causes the entire device to move in small increments of distance along the length of the pool after alternate traverses of the cleaning head along the pool bottom.
-is that the pool bottom is-exposed to a regular and repetitive cleaning pattern which cannot be disturbed by minor obstructions or accumulations of dirt or silt or the like along the bottom of the surface being cleaned.
Another object of this invention is to provide an inching device which propels the entire structure or cleaning device in a direction at right angles to the direction of sweeping the pool but which requires only a single motive power source to accomplish both directions of motion.
It is also an object of this invention to provide for an inching means to move the structure along the length of the pool which employs a tag line connected from one end of the pool and secured to a take-up mechanism located on the moving cleaning device itself. Line is used to pull the entire cleaning device along the length of the pool I at only alternate traverses of the cleaning head itself by means of a novel device for holding the take-up line and using the sweep motion to cause the carriage structure to pull itself along.
Another feature and an advantage of this invention is that the vacuum cleaner head is rigidly connected to the moving carriage portion of the cleaning device but is able to displace vertically to accommodate variations in the depth of the pool being cleaned as well as other irregularities along the bottom surface.
Other numerous objects, features and advantages will become apparent from a reading of the following detailed specification which is intended to illustrate with some clarity one embodiment of my invention but is not intended to impose unnecessary limitations thereon. The specification is accompanied by drawings illustrating my invention wherein the same numerals or characters correspond to the same parts shown in the several figures therein.
Turning now to the drawings,
*FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing my invention installed in a typical asymmetrically shaped swimming pool.
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of a portion of my device taken along line 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 shows the detail in perspective of a lower portion of the apparatus used With my invention taken along line 33 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a plan view of a portion of my invention with certain elements partially removed to reveal various details.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front elevation taken along line 55 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a detailed front sectional elevation taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4.
My invention embraces a device for automatic and unattended vacuum cleaning of a swimming pool irrespective of the shape of the pool itself. A conventional cleaning head is supported at the end of a tube or pipe element which in turn is slidably mounted on a motorized carriage. The carriage traverses the pool along a rail which is supported on either side of said pool by a two-wheel carriage riding on an inverted angle rail.
The carriage moves along the rail across the pool between the inverted angle shaped rails at a relatively constant and predetermined slow rate of speed adapted 'for optimum cleaning of the pool bottom by the vacuum cleaner head. When the carriage comes near one side of the pool, a reversing mechanism is tripped which.
causes the carriage to change its direction of travel and proceed toward the opposite side of the pool. On every other such traverse of the pool, an inching device is actuated causing the entire carriage, beam and wheeled truck assembly to advance along the pool by about six inches in a direction parallel to the inverted angle rails. The combined action of the reversing mechanism and intermittent inching device is repeated continuously so that the entire pool bottom is systematically exposed to the cleaning action of the vacuum cleaner head. When the inching mechanism brings my swimming pool cleaner assembly all the way from one end of the pool to the other, a conventional trip switch automatically turns off the gasoline engine; and the device is ready for removal from the pool and storage until the next cleaning. The inverted angle rails, which may be only temporarily placed along two sides of the pool, may also be removed and stored; however, these rails may be permanently installed at pool side with little if any interference with the ordinary use of the pool facility.
As mentioned in the foregoing description, my novel swimming pool cleaner is designed to reverse its traverse motion solely by coming near a pool side, and inching motion is caused by every other traverse of the carriage. Consequently, an entire swimming pool, irrespective of shape, may be vacuum cleaned automatically with a minimum of operator attendance.
My invention is best understood by referring to the accompanying drawings and initially to FIG. 1 wherein the various portions of my novel structure and device are indicated generally at A. A conventional and asymmetrical swimming pool is shown having sides 'B, C, D and E which are of a generally curved, irregular and continuous shape. I have chosen to illustrate my invention with this type of pool since it affords the most problems to automatic pool cleaners. However, it will be apparent upon reading the following specification that my invention is equally applicable to pools of more conventional shapes, e.-g. rectangular. For purposes of reference and explaining the invention, it is assumed that the pool is rfilled to a water level indicated in FIG. 1 at F, and that G, the bottom of the pool, is of a generally sloping nature as is conventional for most swimming pools.
A pair of rails 12 which may be made of ordinary structural steel angle are shown placed in generally parallel relation to each other on either side of the swimming pool. These rails extend for about the entire length of the pool and are nearly tangent to extreme edges 13a and 13b.
Upon each of rails 12 there rides a pair of two-wheeled trucks indicated generally at 14 in FIG. 1 and shown in greater detail in FIGS. 4 and wherein their relationship with, and connection to, crossbeam 16 is also seen. Each of trucks 14 comprise a pair of suitably shaped sides 17 which may be made of conventional steel angles or the like. Spaced apart at each end of truck 14, and mounted by known expedients on a pin or axle 18, are V-shaped pulleys or wheels 19. These wheels may be selected from any one of a number of such devices well known in the art and are not further described herein except to note that the V-shaped contour or groove around the periphery of these wheels is adapted to fit over inverted angle 12 as seen in FIG. 5. Wheels 19 are mounted on pins 18 in a manner to afford relatively friction-free rotation. Beam 16 which is selected long enough to span the widest portion of the pool as seen in FIG. 1 may be made of a conventional structural steel rolled shape such as an H, I or WF column. Beam 16 at its extremities is attached about midway between the wheels of each of trucks 14 by bolting or other suitable means.
As seen be seen in FIG. 1, a carriage indicated generally'at 21 and seen in greater detail in FIGS. 2, 4 and 5, is movably mounted on the upper flange portion of beam 16. The carriage indicated at 21 comprises a base plate 22 to which there is attached a pair of angle clips 23 having vertical legs 24. Legs 24 are spaced apart a distance slightly greater than the width of the top flange of beam 16 along side of which said legs 24 depend.
Carriage 21 is movably mounted on beam 16 primarily by means of support and tractive rollers 26a and 26b. Roller 26a is keyed to shaft 27a, which in turn is mounted between conventional flanged pillow blocks 28 bolted to legs 24. A portion of shaft 27a extends outwardly from roller 26a; and, as seenin FIG. 2, an extended portion of said shaft shown to the right of that figure has secured to its end driving pulley 29. Pulley 29 is driven by belt 31 in a manner to be described below.
To the left of FIG. 2 another portion of shaft 27a extends outwardly and has fixedly secured thereto chain sprocket 32 which is adapted to receive and drive endless chain 33. Chain 33 and its interrelationship to other parts is best seen in FIG. 4 where portions of plate 22 and angles 23 are removed to show the chain connection to mating chain sprocket 34 which is fixedly secured to a projecting end of shaft 271;, which in turn rotatably supports roller 2611 between angle legs 24 and mounting pillow blocks 36 bolted to each of the legs 24. Hence it can be seen that as roller 26a is rotated by means of drive belt 31 and driven pulley 29, roller 2612 will also be driven simultaneously in the same direction of rotation.
The means for propelling carriage 21 by the rotation of rollers 26a and 26b may best be understood by referring to FIGS. 2, 4, 5 and 6. In FIG. 2 I indicate at 37 a conventional,. fractional horsepower gasoline engine. I have found the use of such a power unit very satisfactory compared to electric motor drives since it eliminates the need for potentially hazardous electrical connections in and around a swimming pool containing a large body of normally treated water which can act as an electrolyte and endanger property and persons in the vicinity. Also, the use of a gasoline engine affords a self-propelled mode of tractive force which, in combination with the novel inching device that I use to move the unit in the direction of the length of the pool, is the sole power required to move my swimming pool cleaner both along the length of the pool as well as its width.
The gasoline engine indicated at 37 is provided with a suitable and conventional gear head which is not shown on the drawings but from which there projects shaft 38 which can be seen in FIG. 4. The gasoline engine gear head is selected so that, with the engine running at about its normal idle speed, the output speed of shaft 38 is of the proper rpm. to propel the swimming pool cleaner. Attached to the end of shaft 38 is driver gear 39 which is also seen partially in FIG. 2. Gear 39 engages both driving gears 41 and 42 which are best shown in FIG. 6. Both gears 41 and 42 ride freely on shaft 43 which is supported between conventional pillow blocks (not shown) securely mounted to the top of plate 22. All three gears 39, 41 and 42 are of the right angle bevel type and, when mounted as shown, result in having shaft 43 at right angles with output shaft 38 of the gasoline engine. Gears 41 and 42 are prevented from drifting away from their engagement with gear 39 by means of conventional set collars 44. Rotation of shaft '43 may be accomplished by engaging either gear 41 or 42; and the direction of rotation of shaft 43 will be in one direction if powered by gear 41 and in the opposite direction if powered by gear 42. Selection of the gear to power shaft 43 is accomplished by means of a conventional splined dogging device indicated generally at 46 in FIG. 6. The device consists of a keyed dog 47 which is capable of sliding freely on the splines or keys 48 which are provided at several equal intervals around the periphery of shaft 43 in the region between the bodies of gears 41 and 42. Each end of dogging device crank portion 56a to dogging device 47.
47 is provided with a series of indentations 49 which are oriented radially and distributed at equal intervals circumferentially at the ends of dog 47. A set ofmating bosses 51 are provided along the depressed faces of each of gears 41 and 42 and are also oriented radially at equal intervals circumferentially about the depressed faces of said gears. When dog 47 is moved in either direction so as to contact the depressed region in the face of gears 41 or 42, bosses 51 tend to become engaged in depressions 49 so that, when the dogging device is engaged in the direction of arrow 52 or 53, gear 41 or 42, respectively, is rotated by virtue of the engagement of said bosses 51 in recesses 49. Movement of dogging device 47 in the direction of either arrow 52 or 53 is accomplished by means of slide shifter 54 which rides in the depressed central region of dogging device 47. Shifter 54 is moved by means of shifter arm 56 which is also seen in FIGS. 2. and 4 and explained in greater detail hereinafter.
At the outer end of shaft 43 as seen in FIG. 4, there is rigidly mounted drive pulley 57 which tractively engages endless belt 31. When the gasoline engine is operating at normal speed and the dogging device is moved in the direction of arrow 52 so as to engage gear .41 causing rotation of shaft 43 in the direction of 52a, drive belt 31 is driven in the direction of arrow 58. This causes rollers 26a and 26b to rotate in the direction indicated by arrows 59a and 59b, respectively, propelling the entire carriage assembly in the direction of arrow 61a along beam 16 toward swimming pool wall B shown in FIG. 1.
In order to assure proper traction of drive rollers 26a and 26b on beam 16, a pair of restraining rollers 62, seen in FIGS. 2 and 5, are mounted on legs 24 directly beneath the flange of beam 16 by means of conventional restraining pins 63. Pins 63 are secured by means of nuts 64 and lock washers 65.
When the carriage device has traversed in the direction of arrow 61a to the vicinity of swimming pool wall B, striker rod 66, which is secured in position by bracing tube 67 and bracket 68, comes into contact with said wall B. By the motive force of the carriage as explained above, striker rod 66 is forced to slidably move in the direction of 69a, see FIG. 4, which in turn causes motion of arm 71, seen in FIG. 2. Arm 71 is connected by means of pin 72 and bracket 73 to strike rod 66. Lever 71 is pivotally connected to the carriage at plate 22 by means of pin 74 so that motion imparted to the lever'by striker arm 66 causes the forked end portion 76 to force arm 56 to move in a given direction. For example, when striker 66 contacts side B of the swimming pool, arm 56 is moved in the direction of arrow 77a. Arm 56, which is pivotally connected to plate 22 by means of pin 78, thus causes disengagement of dogging device 47 from gear 41. Gear. 41 is prevented from frictionally dragging along in dogging recesses 49 by virtue of its spaced apart engagement with the driving gear 39. As arm 56 motion about pin 78 occurs, and the driving force of gear 41 is interrupted by movement of dogging device 47, the entire carriage 21 ceases movement in the direction of swimming pool wall B; and bell crank portion 56a of arm 56 between pin 78 and dogging device 47 comes to rest under and in alignment with tension spring 79. At this point the tension spring has been elongated and tends to exert a pull at the pin connection of hell The inertia of the entire carriage causes the bell crank portion to rotate past its position of alignment with the axis of spring 79 and away from its position which causes engagement of dogging device 47 with gear 41. Although the carriage is not being propelled at this instant, the added tension imparted in spring 79 by the movement of arm 56 causes the spring to draw the bell crank portion in a direction urging dogging device 47 in the direction of arrow 53. This in turn causes engagement between bosses 51 in gear 42 with the depressions 49 of the dogging device. With gear 42 now powering rotation of shaft 43, the shaft turns in direction of arrow 53a shown in FIG. 6, which in turn causes drive pulley 57 to rotatein a direction so as to drive belt 31 in the direction of arrow 58b, as seen in FIG. 4. Hence rollers 26a and 26b are rotated in the direction of arrows 59c and 59d, respectively, causing the entire carriage to reverse direction of travel and move along beam 16 in the direction of arrow 61b towards swimming pool wall D. As the carriage approaches the proximity of wall D, striker arm 66 engages said wall forcing the arm to move in the direction of arrow 69b; and the process of linkage and gear rotation described above is reversed again so that the carriage now proceeds from the side of the pool indicated by wall D in the direction of arrow 61a to 16 at its mid-section as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 4. Tag
line reel 83is of a conventional type known in the art and is not further described herein except to note its 1 characteristic ability to take up any slack in line 81 Without exerting enough tension so as to cause movement of the carriage and beam structure.
Located near reel 83 is bracket 84 suitably secured to beam I16 and extending outwardly therefrom a short distance. Pivotally attached to this bracket is angle rail 86 secured thereto by means of pin 87 mounted in a slotted hole through the rail and provided with spring urging means which tends to keep the section of rail 86 nearest pin 87 toward beam 16. This relationship is best seen in FIG. 4. Also by means of the conventional spring just referred to, rail 86 is normally canted angularly outwardly from beam 16 with the end mounted on pin 87 nearest to the beam. At the other end of rail 86 there is mounted clip bracket 88, whose leg 89 filetiis directly in alignment with tag line 81, seen in FIGS. -2 and 4. Mounted on base 88 is eccentric cam 91 which pivots about and is rotatably held by pin 92. The shape of cam 91 is such that in a normally relaxed position as seen in 'FIG. 4, and under spring tension produced by .a conventional spiral spring (not shown) tied between pin 92 and cam 91, the nose of cam 91 bears gently against line 81 so that the latter is held firmly against vertical'leg 89. Attached to carriage 21 at the base of one of its legs 24 is wheel 93 seen in the right hand side of FIG. 2 and in the cutaway portion of FIG. 4. Wheel 93 rotates on securing pin 94 and is secured by conventional means to bracket 96 which is in turn welded or otherwise suitablyconnected to the bottom of leg 24. As seen in FIG. 4, and with the carriage traveling in the direction of arrow 6%, wheel 93 is just beginning to impose itself along the vertical leg of rail 86. As the carriage proceeds further in the direction of arrow 69b, and as wheel 93 proceeds furt-her in the samedirection, rail 86 is forced to move pivotally in the direction indicated by arrow 96a. As this occurs cam 91, provided with slight serrations at its point of contact with line 81, tends to jam and hold line 81 firmly against leg 89. As wheel 93 proceeds to bring rail 86 into approximately parallel alignment with beam 16, the entire carriage and beam assembly is forced forward in the direction of arrow 97 for a distince approximately equal to dimension 98 indicated in FIG. 4. I have found that it is satisfactory to make dimension 98 about 6 to 10 inches. After carriage 21 has proceeded past the midsection of the beam carrying wheel 94 past its rolling contact with rail 86, said rail and bracket 88 assembly is caused to spring back in the direction of ar- 7 row 96b to its former angularly outwardly projecting position by the spiral spring acting about pivotal point 87. Because the serrations about the nose of cam 91 which engage line 8 1 against leg 89 are oriented to hold the line firmly only when the entire bracket and arm assembly is moved in the direction of arrow 96a, when the motion is reversed in the direction of arrow 96b, the cam tends to slide easily along the direction of line 81 in preparation for the next inching procedure. It should be noted that spring reel 83 maintains line 81 in a relatively taut position by virtue of its take-up ability as line 81 is fed to it during the inching motion.
When the carriage returns in its travel along beam 16 in the direction of arrow 61b, wheel 93 avoids engagement with rail 86 by striking the inside surface of the vertical leg of the rail and forcing it to move a slight distance outwardly so that wheel 93 may pass. This is accommodated by means of a slotted hole in which pin 87 resides and which is normally spring urged in the position shown in FIG. 4 but which may be easily displaced by the passage of the wheel as described. Thus, the entire pool cleaning carriage and beam is progressively moved forward each time the carriage passes the mid position while progressing in the direction of arrow 61a between swimming pool walls B and D. In this manner a regular repetitive cleaning pattern is maintained along the bottom of the pool for the conventional vacuum sweep without the necessity of an attendant despite the irregular shape of the pool itself.
Attached to one side of plate 22, as seen in FIG. 4, is tubular member 101 which passes through the plate and forms a reinforced opening therethrough. Slidably mounted within tube 101 is pipe 102 which extends downwardly for attachment to a conventional swimming pool vacuum head 103. Head 103 is connected to pipe 102 by means of a conventional swivel joint indicated at 104 so that, as castors 106 traverse along the irregular bottom of the sloping floor swimming pool, the head is free to tilt in either the direction of arrows 107a and 1107b or 108a and 108b without causing the carriage to be disturbed from its position on rail 16. In addition, to accommodate for the overall difference in the depth of the pool from one end to the other, pipe 102 is free to slide up and down in tube 101. As can be seen in FIG. 3, a T-connection 109 is in fluid communication with the vacuum head itself through the lower portion of pipe 102 and is also connected by known means to an ordinary flexible hose 1.1 1, which in turn leads to a vacuum source which is not shown or further described herein.
The use of my invention may be summarized by describing the usual steps in its normal use. A pair of inverted angle rails '12 are laid in parallel spaced relation along two sides of a swimming pool as indicated in FIG. 1 and temporarily attached thereto. The movable beam structure comprising rail or beam 16 and the trucks indicated at 14 are brought into place on the rails at one end of the pool. Tag line 81 is unwound from reel 83 and attached temporarily to a post at the opposite end of the pool by means of connection 82. A gasoline engine carriage indicated at 21 is then mounted on rail 16 and the vacuum cleaner head and extension pipe 102 placed in operating position in tube .101. A conventional vacuum source is attached to flexible hosing 11.1, the gasoline engine turned on, and the cleaner permitted to proceed to sweep the pool back and forth along its width dimensions while advancing or inching along the length of the pool in the manner described in greater detail above. Due to the automatic reversing and inching features that are embraced in my invention, a pool of almost any shape irrespective of irregular boundaries and side wall configurations may be automatically cleaned without attendance once the equipment is placed in operation. An ordinary safety switch cutoff attached to the gasoline engine, and sensitive to striking contact with one end of the pool, may be employed to shut off the engine once the entire pool is swept from one end to the other.
Although the foregoing invention has been described in some detail by way of illustration and example for purposes of clarity of understanding, it is understood that certain changes or modifications may be practiced within the spirit of the invention and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A cleaning device to clean a surface whose boundaries are relatively irregular and whose cross-sectional profile varies, comprising in combination: a beam having sufiicient length to span at least one major dimension of the surface to be cleaned and having roller supports at the extremities thereof; means disposed along at least two sides of the surface to be cleaned to guide said roller supports of said beam; carriage means movably mounted on said beam and adapted to traverse the beam in both directions along substantially the entire length thereof; vertically movable means dependent from said carriage means having cleaning means at the lower extremity thereof to clean the surface in contact therewith, said vertically movable means adapted to cause said cleaning means to follow the profile of the surface being cleaned; propelling means mounted on said carriage means to propel the carriage means along said beam and cause the carriage to reverse direction of travel along the beam after traversing the beam from one side to the other of the surface being cleaned; inching means mounted on said beam and carriage means to cause the beam and carriage means to move in small increments of distance in a direction normal to the span of the beam after alternate traverses of the carriage along said beam; and means mounted on said carriage to cause said propelling means to cease propelling said carriage means after said beam is caused to come relatively close to one end of the surface being cleaned.
2. A cleaning device in accordance with claim 1 and wherein further said inching means comprises: means interconnecting a point near one end of the surface to be cleaned and said beam to decrease the interval between said point near the end of the pool and the beam.
3. A cleaning device in accordance with claim 1 and wherein further said inching means comprises: a-tag line connected between one end of the surface to be cleaned and a point at about midspan of said beam; tag line take up means mounted on said beam and said carriage means to decrease the length of said tag line between the one end of the surface and the point of connection of the line on said beam.
4. A swimming pool cleaning device adapted for swimming pools having various shapes and dimensions of length, width and depth, said device having a conventional cleaning head with a length of flexible hose having one end attached in fluid communication with said head and the other end attached in fluid communication with a vacuum air source, comprising in combination: a pair of parallel rails removably secured along two sides of the swimming pool and extending substantially along the entire length of said pool; carrier means movably mounted on said rails and connected to said cleaning head to transport the head along the bottom of the pool and in cleaning contact therewith; power means mounted on said carrier means to cause said carrier means to travel continuously from one side of the pool to the other between said rails and to move in relatively small increments of distance along the length of the pool during every other traverse of said carrier between the rails, whereby said cleaning head is transported back and forth between the sides of the pool and along the entire length thereof while in cleaning contact with the bottom of the pool; and stop means mounted on said carriage means to cause said power means to cease operation when said carriage means proceeds from one end of the pool to the other.
5. In a cleaning device adapted for use with a swimming pool and provided with a conventional vacuum cleaning head, the combination comprising: a pair of rails disposed in parallel relationship along opposite sides of the swimming pool; a beam extending at right angles to said pair of rails and at least as long as the interval therebetween; truck means attached to each end of said beam for rolling engagement upon said pair of rails and to support said beam; carriage means mounted on said beam and adapted to provide a rigid and vertically movable depending support for said vacuum cleaning head, whereby said head is caused to remain in constant contact with the bottom of the swimming pool; tractive means connected to said carriage means to traverse the carriage means along said beam; reversing means connected to said carriage to cause said tractive means to reverse direction of travel of the carriage means when the latter comes relatively near either side of the swimming pool; inching means connected to said beam and carriage means to cause the beam and carriage means to progress in a direction at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the beam in relatively short increments of travel during alternate traverses of the carriage means along the beam; and means associated with said tractive means to cause the latter to cease operation after said beam and carriage means progress in a direction at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the beam and come relatively near to one end of the swimming pool.
6. A cleaning device in accordance with claim and wherein further said inching means comprises: a rail member having one end movably connected to said beam to define at least a first position and a second position, said first position having said member projecting horizontally outwardly from the beam and the second position having the member relatively parallel to the beam; spring means connected to said rail member and said beam to urge the member normally to said first position; a bracket pivotally attached to theother end of said rail member; a tag line having one end connected near the end of the pool; tag line storing and retrieving means mounted near the mid span of said beam to secure the other end of said tag line and maintain the line relatively taut with a portion of the line positioned in said bracket; cam means pivotally mounted on said bracket to cause said'tag line to hold in the bracket when said rail member is moved from said firs-t to said second position and slide the tag line in the bracket when the rail member is moved from said second to said first position; roller means mounted on said carriage means to cause said rail member to move from said first to said second position when the carriage means traverses said beam in one direction of travel only, whereby when said carriage means traverses said beam in one direction the tag line is held in said bracket and the movement of said rail member pulls the entire cleaning device by said tag line along the length of the pool for a relatively short distance normal to the beam, and when the carriage means traverses the beam in the other direction of travel no movement along the length of the pool occurs.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,923,954 2/1960 Babcock 15-l'.7 2,988,762 6/1961 Babcock 1S1.7
FOREIGN PATENTS 446,008 11/1912 France.
CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.
EDWARD L. ROBERTS, Assistant Examiner.