US 3570017 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 16, 1971 Filed June 23, 1969 Fig.1
w. P. REECE 3,570,017
SWIMMING POOL CLEANING APPARATUS 2 SheetsSheet 1 2 Peace INVENTOR.
March 16, 1971 w, REECE 3,570,011
SWIMMING POOL CLEANING APPARATUS Filed June 23, 1969 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 fig. 5
Wa /me 1. fl ece INVENTOR.
United States Patent 3,570,017 SWIMMING POOL CLEANING APPARATUS Wayne P. Reece, Orange County, Fla, assignor to Tropicana Pools, Inc., Orange County, Fla. Filed June 23, 1969, Ser. No. 835,613 Int. Cl. E0411 3/18 US. Cl. 4172.16 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An extending and retracting apparatus for swimming pool cleaning devices of the silt agitating type in which tubes extend from the walls of the swimming pool to agitate silt, and the like, settled on the pool bottom in order to suspend the silt in the water of the pool so that it may be filtered out through the swimming pool filter. A one-way valve is placed within the extending tube of the swimming pool cleaning apparatus to improve the extension and retraction of the tube by increasing the pressure of the water extending and retracting the tube into and out of the side of a swimming pool.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to swimming pool cleaning'devices and more particularly to the extending and retracting means for tubes used in silt agitator type swimming pool cleaners in which the silt settling to the bottom of the pool is kept agitated and suspended in the water I by hoses extending into the pool with their free end discharging water into the pool to stir up the silt. The silt put into suspension is then filtered out by the pool filtering system.
Pollen, dust, dirt and the non-soluble portions of swimming pool chemicals entering (chlorine compounds) settle to the bottom of the pool forming what is sometimes referred to as silt deposits. These silt deposits give the pool, an unsightly appearance and result in a considerable amount of time and effort in removing the deposits from the pool.
In the past it has been suggested to remove the silt deposits by brushing down the bottom of the pool along with the sides of the pool towards the main pool drain in the bottom of the pool. While this has been successful in removing the heavier deposits, most of the lighter deposits were merely brushed into suspension and soon settled to the bottom of the pool again.
Probably the most common prior art method of removing silt is by underwater vacuum cleaners for swimming pools. These vacuum cleaners come in various types and commonly may be connected to the filtering system of the swimming pool to suck up the silt into the swimming pool filter. However, vacuuming the pool takes a great deal of time and eifort, and like brushing, stirs up some of the silt into suspension which then settles after the cleaning is complete.
Another prior art swimming pool cleaning method is sometimes referred to as the silt agitator type and deliberately stirs the silt in the bottom of the pool into suspension with the pool water while the pool is filtering in order to filter out the silt into the filtering system. These agitator types work in various ways but generally have hoses with water being discharged therefrom at their'free end. The jet action of the discharging water causes the hose to circulate around the bottom of the pool to stir up the silt in all parts of the pool. One of these prior art agitator type pool cleaning devices has a floating drum which floats in the pool and from which hoses can be extended and retracted, the extended hoses being adapted to discharge water onto the bottom of the pool to stir up or agitate the trash from the bottom into suspension in the water. Another prior art device of this type connects a hose directly to the discharge of the filtering system.
It has been suggested in the past to make these systems more automatic by providing means for hiding the cleaning hoses in the sides of the pool. One such prior art de vice is shown in Pat. No. 3,278,949, and has the agitating tubes extend and retract responsible to the flow of the water through the tubes. The oscillating tubes are pulled into the side of a pool inside of pipes especially placed to receive the retracting tube. The hoses are extended and retracted by changing the direction of the water passing through the agitating pipes so that the water will extend or retract the hose as it passes therethrough depending upon the direction it is going. However, this prior art device has not been entirely satisfactory since the force applied by water passing through the hose is frequently not sufficient to cause the extended hose to retract, and frequently, in a system with several extending hoses, one
or two will stay extended after the water flow has been reversed, thus requiring the owner of the pool to either enter the water or in some manner move the extended hose to cause it to retract.
Another problem encountered with some of these prior art devices has been that they extend parallel to the bottom of the pool perpendicular to the sides of the pool and extending and retracting, causes the hoses to bend slightly at the opening in the pool side to reach the pool bottom, producing additional frictional force in the slight bend in the hose during operation, causing the hose to wear out sooner and requiring more force to extend and to retract the hose. Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide and improve the extending and retracting means for silt agitating type swimming pool cleaners in which hoses extend and retract from the sides of the pool.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a swimming pool cleaning apparatus of the silt agitating type in which the agitating tubes extend and retract from the walls of the swimming pool and specifically provides an improved means for extending and retracting the tubes from the side of the swimming pool. A plurality of tubes or pipes are located exterior of the pool with openings in the walls of the pool. These exterior pipes are connected to the pool filtering system and are placed at an angle such as 45 with the wall of the pool so that the opening in the poolside is directed towards the bottom of the pool. A plurality of agitating tubes are located inside these pipes in a retracted position and extend out of these pipes into the pool in an extended position with stops provided at either end of the agitating tubes to stop the tube from leaving the pipes and also to stop them in a retracted position from continuing on into the filter system. The agitating tubes are adapted for the passage of water through them in their extended position.
The improvement of the present invention provides for a valve located in one or more of the agitating tube members which valve operates in one direction to allow water to pass through the tube, and in the opposite direction to prevent water from passing through the tube, thus increasing the pressure applied in extending and retracting the agitating tubes. This is so because the water pressure retracting the tubes is forced through the pipes against annular ledges located on the agitating tubes which annular ledges may also act as a spout from the tube extending completely into the swimming pool. The operation of extending and retracting is also improved by the angle at which the agitating tubes enter and leave the sides of the swimming pool.
3 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent from a study of the written description and the drawings in which:
FIG. -1 is a diagrammatic top plan view of the pool cleaner;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1, and illustrating the 45 position of the plastic water pipe along with the whipping motion of the free end of the agitating tubes of the pool cleaner;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and showing the parts of the valve of the agitating tubes in which the valve is open for the passage of water therethrough;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing the valve in an open position;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 3 illustrating the valve structure with the valve closed and the tubing in a retracted position;
FIG. 6 is a section similar to FIG. 4 taken on line 6--6 of FIG. 5 showing the valve closed; and
FIG. 7 is an exploded perspective view of the several parts of the valve structure before assembling the valve to the end of the flexible tubing.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1, there can be seen a diagrammatic top plan view of a pool 10, having a main drain 11, walls 12, main drain pipe 13 leading to the swimming pool filter, and a plurality of cleaning or agitating tubes or pipes '14, each respectively connected to pipes 15 located exterior of the pool with openings at 16 in the walls of the swimming pool 10. Pipes 15 are curved and connect into a main pipe 17 at joints 18 which pipe 17 leads into a valving system 20 connected to the main filtering system of the swimming pool. The valving system 20 is illustrated only in block diagram form even though it is anticipated that several valves will be used and may be needed. A skimming drain 21 is also illustrated having a pipe 22 leading into the valving system 20. Valving system 20 may be connected to the pool filtering system (not shown) through a pipe 23. Tubes 14 have stops 24 connected to the ends to prevent the tube from re tracting into the valving system through pipes 15, thus the stop will catch onto a fixture 25 as the tube 14 is retracted into pipe 15. Similarly a stop located on the other end of tube '14 will prevent tube 14 from extending all the way into the pool which stop will also be stopped by fixture 25 when the tube 14 is in its extended position as shown. In their extended position, tubes 14 discharge water from their free ends 26 into the pool and have a specific gravity greater than one so that they will generally stay near the bottom and will circulate around in a whipping fashion by the jet action of the water discharging from pipe 14 at the free end 26. This movement back and forth of pipe 14 with the water discharging at 26 agitates or stirs any trash or silt on the bottom of the pool causing it to go into suspension in the water of the pool and be filtered out at drains 11 and 21 through the swimming pool filtering system. As can be seen, an occasional operation of the cleaning system by extending pipes 14 into operation will maintain the pool substantially free of silt and trash on the bottom with only small amounts of labor involved. The water passing through pipe 14 is controlled by the valving system 20 in which water can be discharged from the filtering system pump through pipes 15 and pipe 14 into the pool. Simimlarly the water passing through pipe 17, 15 and '14 can be reversed by the valving system to cause the intake of water and this reversing of the water will result in retracting of the tubes 14, as will be explained in more detail later. The water passing through the valving system 20 into pipe 17 can also be shut off entirely. Tube 14 is retracted by reversing the water valve 20 so that water entering pipes 14 and 15 pulls water through opening 16 through fixture 25 into pipe 15, and it is this water pressure at this point that primarily retracts tube 14 by the pressure being applied to the stop connected to the other end of pipe 14 (not shown in this view). As will be clear, merely operating the valve system 20 will cause tubes 14 to extend, stir up and clean the pool 10, and after suflicient cleaning switching of the valves in the system 20 will automatically retract the tubes 14 into pipe 15 with a minimum amount of labor and time involved.
Turning now to FIG. 2, there can be seen the pool 10 being filled with water 30 having a main drain 11 and a skimming drain 21. Tube 14 is again shown in its extended position and has a stop 24 in a free end for the intake or discharge of water at 26. Pipe 15 can be seen having an opening 16 in the wall 12 of the swimming pool 10 with a fixture 25 forming a part of the opening at the end of pipe 15. A member 31 is advantageously adapted to be screwed in and out of the fixture 25 for easy access to removing pipe 14 for repair, and the like. Pipe 15 leads into central pipe 17 which in turn leads through the valving system into the swimming pool filter.
As can be seen in this view, pipe 15 is placed at an angle to the wall 12 and aimed toward the bottom of the pool 10. Pipe 15 is also curved as can be seen in FIG. 1. Angling of pipe 15 advantageously provides for easy extending and retracting of pipe 14 into pool 10 and avoids the abrasion to pipe 14 by previous systems which were perpendicular to the walls of the pool and required a slight bend in the equivalent tube 14 to extend to the bottom of the pool resulting in additional abrasion and friction in the retracting of the tube. As has already been explained, tube 14 will circulate in a whipping motion from the pressure of the jet of the discharging water from the free end 26 of the tube 14 thus stirring up or agitating trash, silt, and the like, on the bottom of the pool 10, and suspending it into the water 30 where it may be picked up through drains 11 or 21 and filtered out of the pool in the filtering system.
FIG. 3 is a cut-away view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2, and more clearly shows the operating of the extending and retracting portion of the present invention. Tube 14 and pipe 15 may be seen in this view, as can the fixture 25 with the threaded removable member 31. A stop 32 may be seen in this end of tube 14 which is shown stopped against an annular ledge 33 formed by the end of member 31 so that when pipe 14 is fully extended, member 32 abutting against the ledge 33 will prevent the pipe 14 from extending all the way into the pool and at the same time prevent water from passing around stop member 32 rather than passing through the tube 14. Stop member 32 also has a valve 34 inserted into it which valvemay be a flap-type valve or one-way valve so as to allow water to pass therethrough for discharge through tube 14, but to prevent water from passing in the opposite direction through tube 14. Since a small amount of pressure is required to open the valve 34, water is being discharged through pipe 15 and through tube 14. This additional pressure helps extend tube 14 into the pool in a more etficient manner. Similarly, when the water is reversed in pipe 15, valve 34 blocks the passing of the water through tube 14, thus forcing the water to pass through the open portion 35 of member 31 placing pressure against an annular ledge 36 of stop 32 to force stop 32 and hose 14 into a retracted position back into pipe 15. Once tube 14 starts to retract, additional pressure is also put on annular ledge 37 forming part of the stop 32 while ledge results from the enlarged portion needed for valve 34. Valve 34 is shown in an open position in this view, as in FIG. 4. The valve 34 may be held in place by member 38 but this will depend upon the type of valve that is used and type of fitting that is needed.
FIG. 4 shows a fixture 25 at the end of pipe 15 in open space 40 and tube 14 stop 32 which is also the member that holds the valve in place and valve 34 taken in a cross section to show concentric circles in which valve 34 is shown to be open with water discharging therethrough.
FIG. 5 shows a view similar to that of FIG. 3 in which pipe -14 is in a retracted position with stop 24 abutting an annular ledge 41 located inside of member 31. Opening 16 in member 31 can be seen as can the opening 26 of the free end of pipe 14 and fixture 25 with member 31 threaded thereinto. Stop 24 can be seen as clearly preventing tube 14 from extending further into pipe 15. The extended stop member 32 is seen having a pair of annular ridges 36 and 37, with ridge 36 acting as a stop and the ridge 37 providing additional surface area for applying more water pressure in retracting the hose 14. Valve 34 can be seen in a closed position inside of stop 32 and held in place by member 38.
FIG. 6 shows a cross sectional view taken along line 66 of FIG. 5, and more clearly shows valve 34 in a closed position. Pipe 15 stop member 32, pipe 14 may also be seen in a cross section of this view.
Referring now to FIG. 7, an exploded view may be seen in which the extending stop 32 has annular ridges 37 and 36 disconnected from tube 14, and with the valve 34 not yet having been inserted into extended stop member 32. Member 38 which may be a tube similar to tube 14, but very short, may be inserted behind valve 34 to hold valve 34 in place within the stop and valve holder 32. Valve 34 may be seen to be illustrated as a flap type having flap ends 42 in a base portion 43 for holding the valve in place. Flap 42 will open when water is passed in one direction, or close and prevent water from passing in the opposite direction. In addition to forcing greater pressure against stop 32, it requires that 32 have an additional ledge 37 which increases the area which to apply the water pressure against in retracting tube 14.
It will be clear that a pool cleaning apapratus has been described in which the pool cleaning tubes for agitating the silt and trash in the bottom of a pool are retractable to an out-of-sight position for a more esthetic appeal, but at the same time providing a much improved extending and retracting mechanism for the agitating pipe. While applicant does not intend to be limited to any particular materials, it will be clear that pipe 15 could be of a polyvinyl chloride surgical tubing (such as manufactured by Alpha Chemical & Plastic Co. #X346-70 Durometel) which is especially adapted to resist the action of such pool chemicals as chlorine in the water of a pool and will not stifien in cold water and will not be affected by warm water in the summer time or within a heated pool.
Similarly the flapper valve 34 requires a material such as salistic rubber which has a silicone base that will not be affected by pool chemicals such as chlorine and will remain flexible over long periods of time. It will also, of course, be clear that other types of valves, other than a flap type may also be used such as a one-way ball valve. However, it has been found that the flap type valve is simple and economical and very effective in the present system. It should also be noted that the valve may not necessarily be required for each of the plurality of tubes 14, since the valve placed in some of the tubes will increase the water pressure of suction being pulled through pipe 15 to increase the over-all efficiency of the system, While not departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
Accordingly, this invention is not to be construed as limited to the particular forms disclosed herein, since these are to be regarded as illustrative rather than restrictive.
1. In a swimming pool cleaning apparatus of the silt agitating type, an improved tube extending and retracting device comprising in combination:
a plurality of first tubular members located exterior of the pool with openings in the walls of the pool;
a plurality of second tubular members adapted for the passage of water therethrough, each said second tubular member having a retracted position inside one said first tubular member and an extended portion with a substantial portion of said second tubular member extending into said pool for agitating silt and the like by water passing from said second tubular members into said pool;
the improvement of a valve means located in at least one said second tubular member adapted to open to the passage of water through said second tubular member in one direction and to prevent the passage of water in the other direction whereby the extension and retraction of said second tubular members in said first tubular members is facilitated.
2. The apparatus according to claim 1 in which said valve means opens to the passage of water into the pool for the agitation of silt, and the like.
3. The apparatus according to claim 2 in which each said second tubular member includes stop means adapted to limit the extension and retraction of each said second tubular members.
4. The apparatus according to claim 3 in which each said second tubular member has a free end portion adapted to extend into said swimming pool and a holding end portion adapted to remain in a said first tubular member, said valve means being located in said holding end portion of said second tubular member.
5. The apparatus according to claim 4 in which said valve means includes at least one flap valve located in at least one second tubular member.
6. The apparatus according to claim 5 in which said valve means includes a plurality of valves.
7. The apparatus according to claim 6 in which the holding end portion of each said second tubular member has an annular ledge thereon around the exterior thereof.
8. The apparatus according to claim 7 in which each said first tubular member is located at an angle to the wall of said swimming pool whereby each said second tubular member will extend from and retract into one said first tubular member in a direction toward the bottom of said pool.
9. The apparatus according to claim 8 in which each said first tubular member is located at an angle of approximately 45 degrees with wall of said pool.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,045,829 7/1962 Rule et a1. 210-169 3,261,371 7/1966 Vernon 4-172.l7 3,278,949 10/1966 Whitaker 4172 3,443,264 5/1969 Miller 4 -172.15 3,449,772 6/ 1969 Werner 4172 3,464,068 9/1969 Whitaker 4172.15
LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner H. K. ARTIS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.