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Publication numberUS3289216 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 6, 1966
Filing dateFeb 9, 1965
Priority dateFeb 9, 1965
Publication numberUS 3289216 A, US 3289216A, US-A-3289216, US3289216 A, US3289216A
InventorsPhilip Anthony Myron, Robert Ortega
Original AssigneePhilip Anthony Myron, Robert Ortega
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable swimming pool cleaner
US 3289216 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dm. 6, W66 M. P. ANTHONY ETAL 392%9923@ RETRACTAELE SWIMMING POOL CLEANER 3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Feb. 9, 1965 JUG IN'VE'TORS.

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De@ w66 M. F. ANTHONY ETAL 3,289,26

RETRACTABLE SWIMMING POOL CLEANER 5 Sheets-$heet 2 Filed Feb. 9, 1965 INVENTOR uw w@ 4 NQ D@ Me. 6, W66 M. P. ANTHONY ETAL gpm@ RETRACTBLE SWIMMING POOL CLEANER Filed Feb. 9. 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 rraQA/Emm United States Patent i 3,289,216 RETRACTABLE SWIMMING POOL CLEANER Myron Philip Anthony, Newport Beach, and Robert Ortega, Los Angeles, Calif. (both of 5871 Firestone Blvd., South Gate, Calif.)

Filed Feb. 9, 1965, Ser. No. 431,375 11 Claims. (Cl. 4-172) The present invention relates generally to swimming pool clea-ning devices and more particularly discloses such a device employing a leader assembly at the distal end of a floating, movajble articulated arm assembly made of pivotally connected arms of tulbular pipe or the like having one or more flexible hoses dangling therefrom, and including means for automatically retracting the articulated arm assembly into compact position when the pool ceaner is not being used.

Swimming pool cleaners employing one or more dangling hoses adapted to move sinuously through the water in random motion have rbeen proposed in the past, relying for the cleaning action upon the jettin-g discharge of water from the free ends of the hoses. Such prior mechanisms have the disadvantage of occupying a substantial portion of the pool even when they are not actively in use performing their cleaning function. Consequently, they are usually removed from the pool when not in use, requiring a certain amount of work by the user in removal and subsequent reinstallation, and involving the risk of damaging the mechanism during such handling thereof.

The apparatus in accordance rwith the present invention is an improvement over such mechanisms, and provides a floating leader assembly connected to a -water supply source through a conduit provided with means for retracting itself into compact position when Water pressure is cut off. Thus `the present cleaning mechanism, when not in active use, leaves virtually the entire tbody of the pool available for recreational use, especially when the retracted conduit is receivable in a small grotto-like recess formed in the pool wall adjacent the point of water supply to the cleaner.

lin the exemplary form of the invention hereinafter described and illustrated in detail, the retractable conduit takes the form of an arm assembly including an articulated series of arms comprising pipes, successive arms being connected by floating pivotable joints providing means for Iwater passage from one pipe arm to the next.

Resilient means are provided for retracting the anm assembly, and Water pressure actuated means are provided for 'overcoming the torce of the resilient retracti-ng means. When the resilient retracting force is so overcome, the arm assembly is gently urged into extended operative position by fthe reactive force of water issuing from jet discharge orifices provided at appropriate points on the arm assembly. The leader assembly previously mentioned then commences to track the side wall of the pool, drawing lbehind it the rest of the arm assembly, while 'water discharging from hoses dangling from the assem'by accomplishes the cleaning function. The tracking continues as long as water is supplied to the cleaner, and means are provided including a swivel connection at one of the junctions between adjacent arms to permit continuity of such tracking movement.

The leader assembly includes a main propulsion jet for urging the assembly in its tracking direction, as well as 3,289,216 Patented lDec. 6, 1966 one or more Iauxiliary jets to insure that the leader assemlbly avoids obstructions and turns corners during its movement.

Accordingly, it is a principal olbject of the present invention to disclose novel improvements in swimming pool cleaning apparatus. Additional objects and purposes are to disclose, in such apparatus, an articulated arm assembly leading from a source of Water at the edge of a pool outwardly to a movable leader assembly; to provide in such an apparatus means for retractin-g the articulated arm assembly int-o compact relationship when 'water pressure is removed therefrom; to provide, in such an arrangement, a grotto recessed in the side of the pool for receiving the retracted arm assembly; to provide, in such an apparatus, an articulated arm assembly consisting of a plurality of pivotally connected arms or segments, to permit freedom of movement of the leader assembly, and also to provide compactness when the apparatus is in retracted position; and for additional objects and putrposes as will be understood from a study of the following description of a preferred embodiment of the invention, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a swimming pool, with a portion at the lower right broken away, showing a pool cleaner therein in accordance with the present invention in two typical posi-tions during operation, one in solid lines and another in broken lines.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary plan View of a modied form of the invention showing the pool cleaner in retracted position in a grotto-like recess in the pool side vvall covered 4by an overlying deck, portions of lthe deck being #broken away to more clearly show the cleaner itself.

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the pool showing the cleaner floating therein 'with the arms extended for clarity of presentation.

FIG. 4 is a plan view on -an enlarged scale of the third arm, together with fragmentary portions of the second and fourth arms substantially in their relative positions seen in solid lines in FIG. l.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevational view, partially in section, showing the pivotal `juncture ofthe fourth and fifth arms, with cylinder of the hydraulic motor swung into the plane of the drawing for clarity of presentation.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary plan view, partially in section, of the tracking or sensing arm of the leader assembly, showing the leader valve mechanism in its normali position.

FIG. 7 is an elevational view of the structure of FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view of the valve in the leader float assembly when actuated to obstacle-avoiding position |by the valve control arm.

Referring in detail to the drawings showing an illustractive form of the invention, t-he pool shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 includes a bottom 10` and side |walls 12 and 14 of any desired configuration, the side walls terminating upwardly in a conventional coping 16 defining the pool periphery.

A water supply pipe indicated generally at 20 extends inwardly through the side wall, desirably slightly below 'the established water level in the pool, and may be connected to a suitable source of water under pressure such as a pump and filter (n-ot shown) supplied -with 'water taken from the pool as through drain 24 and thereby recirculated, the connections therefor being conventional- `and well known, and ibeing omitted here in the interests of clarity.

Supply pipe 20 may be connected through a disconnect fitting or union 32 and an angle member 34 to a pivotal fitting 36, and thence to the articulated arm assembly of the present cleaner, including a plurality of rigid arms constituting pipe sections, each arm 'being pivotally connected to the adjacent arm through a water conducting fitting. The preferred form of the invention illustrated includes five such arm-s, indicated generally at 40, 42, 44, 46 and 48 successively outwardly from the water source 20. The fitting 38 joining pipe arms 40 and 42 is a 360 swivel connection, permitting continuous angular movement of pipe 42 about the vertical axis of fitting '38 during operation, while the fittings 36 and 120 are of a different construction, to Ibe described later.

Float means are provided to support the water supply conduit. Thu-s at each juncture of successive arms there is a float member made of a suitable buoyant material such as styrofoam, vinyl or the like and indicated at 41, 43, 45 and 47 respectively, and a similar float 49 is provided near the outer or distal end of arm 48.

The outermost arm 48 is provided at its leading or distal end with a leader assembly shown in detail in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8. A valve head indicated generally at 50 is attached to pipe 48 as by threaded connection 52 and includes a hollow cylindrical body 54 having two jet ports or orifices 56 and 58 formed therein. Port 56 is directed leftwardly as seen in FIG. 6, so that the reactive force of water issuing therefrom tends to move pipe 48 and head '50 rightwardly. The other port 58 is directed rightwardly whereby water jetting therefrom urges the head leftwardly.

Slidably carried in cylindrical head S4 is a sleeve 60 which blocks one or the other of ports 56, 58 depending upon its longitudinal position in the head. Thus in its normal or forward position of FIG. 6, the sleeve blocks port 58 and opens port 56, while in its rearward position of FIG. 8 the opposite condition exists and water issues from port 58.

Sleeve 60 is provided with a crossbar 62 to which is attached an actuating plunger 64 projecting through an opening -66 in the end wall of the head and carrying at its outer end a tip 68. Sleeve `60 and its plunger 64 are normally biased into their forward position seen in FIG. 6 by the force of water pressure exerted again-st .the base of the plunger, supplemented if desired by resilient means such as spring J70 between head 50 and tip 68.

A sensing arm indicated generally at 80 consists of upper and lower rods 81 and 82 (see FIG. 7) carrying a bracket 84 having lugs journaled through pivot pin 86 to ears 87 extending laterally from head 50. The arm 80 is thus permitted to move angularly in a horizontal plane about the vertical axis of .pin 86. A plate 90 extends -between and is fixed to rods 81 and 82, and bears against tip l68, whereby pivotal movement of sensing or control arm 80 causes linear movement of sleeve 60 within t-he valve head and thereby opens or closes ports 56 and 58.

The length of sensing arm 80 may be adjustable, as by sleeves 91 and 92 carried by rods 81 and 82 which provide telescoping engagement with rod extensions 93 and 94 retained in desired prolongation Vas by set screw means 95, and suitable cross braces 96 may be provided between the rods for rigidity.

A sensing probe is carried at the distal end of arm 80'. In the present embodiment of the invention the probe includes a small roller 100 rotatably mounted on vertical shaft 102 carried 'by bracke-t 104 fixed to the outer end of arm 80. The probe is desirably mounted forwardly.

of the end of the sensing arm, and normally is in moving contact with the side wall 12 Iof the pool, being maintained in that position by the reactive force of water flowing from jet por-t 56 in the valve head 50.

Means are provided for retracting arm 40 into its position seen in FIG. 2 when no water under pressure is Supplied to the cleaner, and similar means are provided at the pivotal junctures of arms 42, 44, of arms 44, 46 and of arms 46, 48 for similarly moving them to their positions of FIG. 2. A preferred form of such means is illustrated in FIG. 5, being the juncture of arms 46 and 48.

As there shown, arm 46 terminates in fitting 118 having a lower outlet 112 coupled to a flexible hose 114 and an upper outlet to which is `fixedly mounted a sheave indicated generally at having a spherical cavity 122 loosely retaining a hollow spherical member or ball 124 therein. The latter element is attached to the lower end 126 of a pipe fitting 128 having a T projection 130 connected to arm 48, :and an upper projection 132 is supported by float member 47.

Hydraulic motor means include a horizontally disposed cylinder indicated generally at supported at one end 142 by a fitting 144 carried 4by arm 48 and in fluid communication with the interior of the arm. Within cylinder 140 is s-lidably 1mounted a piston 146 biased rightwardly as seen in FIG. 5 by resilient means 148. A flexible line such as cable is fixed at its right end to piston 146 and at its other end to sheave 120 as by fastening member 154 which may be one of the bolts retaining the split sheave in assembled position. Cable 150 passes at least partially around the sheave.

Keeping in mind that the sheave 120` is fixed to arm 46 and that the axis of cylinder 140 is spaced from the axis of its arm through a horizontal angle (see, illustratively, FIG. 4), it will be seen that rightward movement of piston 146 as seen in FIG. 5 under the force of spring 148 causes arm 48 to rotate counterclockwise as seen in FIG. 1 toward arm 46, so that the arms eventually assume their relative position seen in FIG. 2.

As best appears in FIG. 3, similar cylinders 140 and sheaves 120 are provided at the inner end of arm 40 and at the junctures of arms 42, 44 and of arms 44, 46.

The juncture of arms 40 and 42 includes a swivel fitting permitting 360 rotation of arm 42 relative thereto, and it will be observed in FIG. 3 that arm 40 is disposed substantially higher than remaining portions of the cleaner to permit such portions to pass under arm 40 once during each peripheral tour of leader arm 48 around the pool. It will also be observed that the second arm 42 is substantially shorter in length than arm 40, to insure that there is no conflict during operation.

Jet orifice ports are provided in the arm assembly to insure continuous movement around the pool wall in a countenclockwise direction as seen in FIG. 1. Such a port (see FIG. 5) in the fitting 128, for example, permits ia Water jet 172 therefrom to propel arm 48 forwardly, the jet port 170 being directed in axial or substantially axial rearward prolongation of arm 48. With further reference t-o FIG. l, a jet 174 at the outer end of arm 40 urges the latter clockwise outwardly from its retracted position into a position extending gener-ally intoy the pool, and a jet 176 1at the outer end of arm 42 urges the latter genenally counterclockwise about its 360 swivel juncture with anrn 40.

With water pressure applied to the system through supply pipe 20, the force off the `springs 148 within cylinders 140 is overcome, relieving the retracting torque theretofo-re existing and permitting the jets just mentioned to gently move the system outwardly into the Pool. The sensing assembly at the outer end of leader arm 48 approaches the pool side wall by the reactive force from jet port S6, .and under the influence of jet discharge 172 commences its movement in the general direction indicated by the arrows 180 in FIG. l. If any portion of the arm 80 strikes an obstruction indicated generally at 181, such as a ladder, a pool corner or the like, the valve of head 50 is actuated to its position of FIG. 8, thereby moving the outer end of arm 48 leftwardly to clear the obstruction or change direction.

During movement of arm 48, the other arms 42, 44 and 46 trail in somewhat random fashion with one or more hoses 114 suspended from the arms, preferably at the j-unctures thereof, as illust-rated in FIG. 5. Arm 40 may swing slowly through an angle as seen in FIG. 1, to insure maximum coverage of the pool. The hoses may be made of material having ra density only slightly greater than water, so that their random sinuous movement may range over the ent-ire surface of the pool walls and bottom. At least one hose must of course be long enough so that water discharging from its lower end contacts the deepest part yof the pool.

It lmay be desirable to protect the retracted cleaner by an Ioverlying platform structure such as a deck indicated generally at 190 in FIGS. 1 and 2 spaced above the pool water level `and including in the present illustration a number of ibeams or planks 192 extending between and carried 'by suitable support members 194 projecting outwardly from the coping. In order to more completely withdraw the cleaner lfrom the usable portion of the pool, the construction of FIG. 2 may be employed, providing a recess indicated generally at 200l in the pool side wall and forming, with deck 190, a grotto-like enclosure for housing the retracted cleaner.

When the water supply conduit takes the form of successive articulated pipe arms -as hereinabove described and illustrated, the cumulat-ive length of the several individual arms should desirably be substantially greater than the lmaximum radial distance from the water source to the ymost remote point on the pool periphery. In this Way the included angle between successive pipe arms (excepting, of course, in the case of arms 4d and 42, where arm 42 is permitted continuous free rotation about the vertical axis of swivel fitting 38) is usually substantially less than a straight angle. In any event, the effective length of the water supply conduit, measured radially from the water source, should be sufhicient to permit the leader assembly sensing probe to continuously Contact the pool side wall. In an exemplary cleaner the arms 40, 42, 44, 46 and 48 may have lengths Iof 6, 3, 7, 6 and 5 feet -respectively for satisfactorily cleaning a pool feet wide and 25 feet long. The .water source should be located approximately midway of one of the longer sides of the pool.

Modifications and changes from the illustrative embodiment of the invention are intended to be embraced within the scope yof the appended claims.

We claim:

1. A swimming pool cleaner comprising:

an elongated conduit conectiible at one end to a source -of pressurized water `at the edge of the pool and having an inoperative -retracted position 4adjacent the pool side wall adjoining the water source and an operative extended position; float means oper-ably -connected to said conduit for supporting said conduit in the pool water;

the conduit having an effective length when in operative position whereby its other end can reach to adjacent the entire pool periphery and including a leader assembly at said conduit other end .for movably contacting the side wall around the pool periphery;

the leader .assembly having a propulsion port formed therein in fluid communication with the conduit, reactive force of water iiowinig outwardly through said port serving to propel said leader assembly generally parallel to the pool side wall;

resiliently biased 4means for urging said conduit into inoperative retracted position;

means actuated by the pressure of water in the conduit for overcoming the force of :said resiliently biased means;

and flexible hose means suspended fro-m said conduit and supplied `with water therefrom and submergib'le in the pool water, the water discharged from the hose means contacting the pool side walls and bottom for dislodging dirt therefrom.

2. The invention as stated in claim 1 wherein said conduit includes an articulated arm assembly comprising a first rigid arm pivotally connected to said water source and a second arm shorter than the first :arm` and swivelly connected to the distal end thereof for 360 free rotation about said distal end, said arms ibeing movable in substantially horizontal planes, the plane of the second arm Ibeing spaced below the plane of the first arm.

3. The invention as stated in claim 2 wherein sai-d first arm is provided with a discharge orifice, the reactive force of water jetting therefrom urging the first arm away from its inoperative position.

4. 'Phe invention as stated in claim 2 wherein said second arm is provided with a discharge orifice, the reactive force of water jetting therefrom urging Ithe sec-ond arm in a selected direction `about the ii-rst arm distal end.

5. The invention as stated -in claim 2 wherein said articulated arm assemibly includes a plurality of additional rigid arms, one being pivotally yconnected to the second arm distal end and each `being pivotally connected to an adjacent arm, the arm furthest from the water source including said leader assembly, and said `arms being in adjacent zigzag relation when the conduit is retracted to inoperative position.

6. The invention as stated in claim 5 wherein each of said pivotal connections includes a hydraulic motor constituting said force overcoming means and comprising a cylinder having one end supplied with water from said conduit and a piston slidably mounted in the cylinder as well `as a spring urging the piston toward said one cylinder end and means for translating piston movement in such direction into angular movement swinging the pivotally connected arms toward adjacent relation, said spr-ing and translating means constituting said resiliently biased means.

7. The invention as stated in claim 1 wherein said leader assembly includes a normally closed port directed toward the pool side wall when the leader assembly is being so propelled, and means including 'a sensing member abutable against an obstruction projecting into the pool transverse to the gene-ral direction of movement of the leader assembly for opening said port, whereupon the reactive force of water issuing therefrom urges the leader assembly away from the pool side wall.

8. In a swimming pool cleaner having a float-supported movable conduit `and a flexible hose submergible in the pool water and having its upper end coupled to said conduit for receiving water therefrom, water discharging from its other end serving to dislodge dirt from the pool walls yand bott-om as the hose moves in sinuous random fashion ir. the water, said conduit being connected at its one end to a :sour-ce of pressurized water at the edge of the pool and including at its other `end a leader -assemibly adapted to substantially continuously movably contact the side wall defining the pool periphery and provided with a propulsion port communicating with the conduit interior whereby reactive force of water flowing outwardly through the po-rt serves to propel the leader assembly along the pool side wall, the provision of:

means resiliently biasing the conduit into inoperative retracted position adjacent the pool :side wall adjoining the water source;

and means actuated by the pressure of water in the conduit for overcoming the force of the resiliently biasing means.

9. The invention as stated 'in claim 8Awherein said conduit includes a plurality of rigid arms, one such arm` being pivotally connected to said water source for swinging in a substantially horizontal plane between its inoperative position adjacent the pool side wall and its operative position projecting therefrom, a second arm bein-g swivelly connected to the distal end of said one arm for free 360 rotation about said distal end 'below said plane.

10. rIlhe invention as stated 4in claim 9 wherein said plurality of arms includes yadditional arms, each pivotally connected to `an adjacent arm, the arm furthest from the Water source including said leader assembly.

11. The invention as stated in -cl-aim 10 wherein said leader assembly includes a normally closed port directed toward the pool side wall when the lleader assembly is being propelled along said Wall and lmeans including a :sensing member abuttable against `an obstruction projecting into che pool transverse to the general direction of such leader yassembly movement for opening said port, whereupon the Ireactive force of water issuing therefrom urges the leader assembly away from the pool side wall.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Arnt 239-587 Neer 15-2465 X Saint Clair et al 4-172 Winston et al 134-167 X Shelton et a1 134-141 CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Prmw'y Examiner.

R. L. BLEUTGE, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US2845091 *Jan 18, 1954Jul 29, 1958Maryland Engineering CompanyTank cleaning apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3512540 *May 27, 1968May 19, 1970Hughes Wayne LApparatus for cleaning swimming pools
US3521304 *Sep 11, 1967Jul 21, 1970Ghiz George JSwimming pool cleaning system
US3530511 *Dec 9, 1968Sep 29, 1970Poolmaid IncAutomatically extensible and retractable pool cleaning apparatus
US3796373 *Mar 14, 1972Mar 12, 1974Henderson DSwimming pool cleaning device
US3883366 *Jul 27, 1973May 13, 1975Blumenfeld Charles MPool cleaner
US3926667 *Jan 7, 1974Dec 16, 1975Airwick IndPool cleaning apparatus
US6895984 *Jan 16, 2004May 24, 2005Andrew L. PansiniPool cleaner deployment arrangement
US6974103Feb 19, 2002Dec 13, 2005Pansini Andrew LHose reel automatic storage
US7096876 *May 26, 2004Aug 29, 2006Pansini Andrew LPool cleaner deployment arrangement
US7145074May 5, 2005Dec 5, 2006Henkin-Laby, LlcAutomatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections
US7334601 *Nov 30, 2004Feb 26, 2008Torkelson John EPool cleaning systems
US7441284Jun 27, 2005Oct 28, 2008Pansini Andrew LHose reel automatic storage
US7543607 *Dec 27, 2005Jun 9, 2009Henkin-Laby, LlcAutomatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections and resilient axially flexible couplers
US7786381Nov 18, 2006Aug 31, 2010Henkin-Laby, LlcAutomatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections
US20050155647 *May 26, 2004Jul 21, 2005Pansini Andrew L.Pool cleaner deployment arrangement
US20050199409 *May 5, 2005Sep 15, 2005Henkin Melvyn L.Automatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections
US20050236508 *Jun 27, 2005Oct 27, 2005Pansini Andrew LHose reel automatic storage
US20060169322 *Jan 3, 2006Aug 3, 2006Torkelson John EConcealed automatic pool vacuum systems
US20070062733 *Nov 18, 2006Mar 22, 2007Henkin Melvyn LAutomatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections
US20070105081 *Nov 4, 2005May 10, 2007Valle Rainer A DApparatus for swimmer protection and uses thereof
US20070144602 *Dec 27, 2005Jun 28, 2007Henkin Melvyn LAutomatic pool cleaner power conduit including stiff sections and resilient axially flexible couplers
WO2007001857A2 *Jun 14, 2006Jan 4, 2007Pansini Andrew LHose reel automatic storage
WO2007001857A3 *Jun 14, 2006Mar 15, 2007Andrew L PansiniHose reel automatic storage
WO2016026059A1Aug 19, 2015Feb 25, 2016Mueller Peter AStorage housing for pool robot
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/490, 239/747, 239/750, 137/355.24, 239/229, 239/251, 134/167.00R, 239/587.2, 137/355.16
International ClassificationE04H4/16, E04H4/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H4/1681
European ClassificationE04H4/16D