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Publication numberUS3683427 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 15, 1972
Filing dateAug 27, 1970
Priority dateAug 27, 1970
Also published asCA942902A1, DE2142051A1
Publication numberUS 3683427 A, US 3683427A, US-A-3683427, US3683427 A, US3683427A
InventorsBurkholz Herbert Carl, Burkholz Norman K
Original AssigneeBurkholz Herbert Carl, Burkholz Norman K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Outdoor swimming pool with dome
US 3683427 A
Abstract
A dome formed of flexible sheet material supported by a suitable framework above an outdoor swimming pool to form an enclosure for protecting the swimmers from the weather. The dome is readily installed and removed and provides ample room above the water to enable the swimmers to use the swimming pool in the usual manner. The dome fully encloses the area above the swimming pool so that it not only protects the swimmers from the elements but the sun heats the atmosphere within the dome as well as the water an appreciable amount above the outdoor temperature for the comfort of the swimmers.
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United States Patent Burkholz et al.

[ OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL WITH DOME [72] Inventors: Herbert Carl Burkholz, W-280, N-

1841, Hy SS, Pewaukee, Wis. 53072; Norman K. Burkholz, N-87,

wnssso King Highway, Menomonee Falls, Wis. 53051 22 Filed: Aug. 27, 1970 211 Appl.No.: 67,399

521 U.S.Cl. ..4/172.12,52/s2,13s/1 s1 1m.c|....- ..E04h3/16,E04h3/18 [58] Field of Search...4/172, 172.11, 172.12, 172.14; 52/62, 81, 222, 586; 135/1, 2, 3, 4, 15

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,475,768 1 l/ 1969 Burton ..4/ 172.12 3,118,186 l/1964 Moss ..52/82 X 2,953,145 9/1960 Moss et a] ..135/4 X 3 ,5 20,004 7/ 1970 Patnaude ..4/172. 12 3,335,535 8/1967 Lane ..52/586 X 3,461,890 8/1969 Goodrich 135/1 [451 Aug. 15, 1972 3,512,186 5/1970 Sanford ..4/l72.12 3,562,976 2/1971 Wol1in et al. ..52/ 82 3,391,410 7/1968 Melberg ..4/172. 12 3,447,549 6/1969 Cunningham ..135/15 3,448,748 6/1969 Walrave ..1 35/ 1 Primary Examiner-Frederick L. Matteson Assistant Examiner-Henry K. Artis Attorney-Cyril M. l-lajewski [57] ABSTRACT A dome formed of flexible sheet material supported by a suitable framework above an outdoor swimming pool to form an enclosure for protecting the swimmers from the weather. The dome is readily installed and removed and provides ample room above the water to enable the swimmers to use the swimming pool in the usual manner. The dome fully encloses the area above the swimming pool so that it not only protects the swimmers from the elements but the sun heats the atmosphere within the dome as well as the water an appreciable amount above the outdoor temperature for the comfort of the swimmers.

8Clains,5Drawingl-igures OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOL WITH DOME BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention pertains to removable domes for outdoor swimming pools. The dome is supported to provide sufficient height over the water so as not to interfere with the recreational use of the pool by swimmers. On the other hand, it protects the swimmers from the elements and moreover enables the sun to wami the air as well as the water within the dome to enable the swimming pool to be comfortably utilized even during cool weather so that the dome greatly extends the use of the outdoor swimming pool. It is especially adapted to be readily assembled with a minimum of effort and may also be easily removed when it is desired to use the pool without the dome.

In the past, swimming pool covers have been provided to protect the water in outdoor swimming pools from dirt that may be blown about in the atmosphere. However, in each and every case, such cover must be removed to render thepool accessible to swimmers. These prior art covers are absolutely contrary to the teachings of the present invention which is intended particularly for the comfort of the swimmers. The dome furnishes the additional benefit of preventing dirt from dropping into the water to retain its cleanliness, but its principal function is to protect the swimmers and thereby extend the use of the swimming pool for swimming during cool days and during inclement weather which would normally idle the pool in the absence of the protective dome.

Prior art covers are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,158,161 issued to Knodel on Nov. 24, 1964 and US. Pat. No. 3,423,767 issued to Crook on Jan. 28, 1969. These patents disclose a frame about the swimming pool and the frame is adapted to receive a plastic sheet for covering the water to prevent foreign material from blowing into the pool. However, the plastic sheet must be removed to render the pool accessible to swimmers so that it is incapable of offering any protection to the swimmers.

On the other hand dome shaped tents have been formed by a lightweight frame adapted to receive a flexible covering such as canvas or plastic sheeting as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,480,023 issued to McConnellet al on Nov. 25, 1969. However there is no suggestion in the prior art for the use of such an arrangement over an outdoor swimming pool.

SUMMARY The present invention provides a lightweight metal frame structure extending upwardly from the top rail of the swimming pool to a central connecting member or spider supported sufficiently high above the pool so as not to interfere with the normal use of the pool by swimmers. A flexible sheet is placed over the framework and the configuration of the framework and the sheet is such that the flexible sheet fonns a dome over the swimming pool. A zippered door is provided in the sheet for providing ingress to the interior of the dome. It has also been found convenient to provide zippered windows in the flexible sheet so that the temperature within the dome can be controlled to a limited extent.

The framework is formed by brackets mounted at regular intervals about the top rail of the swimming pool. Aluminum tubing extends upwardly from each of the brackets and is coupled to the central connector member above the water of the pool. Each length of tubing from the bracket to the connector member may be made of several sections of tubing that are slidably connected to each other for easy assembly and disassembly. To this end, the bottom section of tubing has a sliding connection with the bracket and the top section has a similar sliding connection with the central connector. After the framework is thus assembled, the flexible sheet is drawn taut about the framework to complete a very rigid and rugged assembly.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a view in front elevation showing the dome of the present invention mounted on an above the ground swimming pool;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the dome and swimming pool shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary detail view illustrating one of the brackets mounted on the top rail of the swimming pool and the means for securely fastening the flexible sheet over the frame of the dome;

FIG. 4 is a detail view partly in section and partly in elevation to illustrate the arrangement for coupling two lengths of tubing to each other for convenience in assembly and disassembly; and

FIG. 5 is a plan view of one section of the flexible sheet to illustrate how the dome shaped sheet is formed by assembling a plurality of such sections.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Reference is now made more particularly to the drawing and specifically to FIG. 1 thereof which illustrates a dome mounted on a swimming pool and constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention. The swimming pool is generally identified by the reference numeral 10 and is the above the ground type of swimming pool which has proved to be very popular. However, it should be understood that the dome of the present invention can be likewise applied to the beneath the ground type of swimming pools in which an excavation is made into the ground for the formation of the swimming pool.

The swimming pool 10 comprises generally a floor l 1 and a bottom rail 12 about the periphery of the floor 11. Vertical legs 13 extend upwardly from the bottom rail 12 at regular intervals about the periphery of the floor 11 with a top rail 15 being mounted on top of the vertical legs 13. The bottom rail 12, the vertical legs 13 and the top rail 15 are secured together to form a rigid support for a vertical wall 16. This forms an enclosure for receiving a flexible liner which comprises the floor 11 and a vertical side wall 17 with the side wall 17 being supported against the vertical wall 16.

The particular swimming pool illustrated in the drawing has its periphery formed of 12 straight sections to illustrate one of the popular models. However, these swimming pools come in all different shapes and sizes and the dome of the present invention can be adapted for application to any of these configurations. In all cases the dome will completely cover the 'water within the swimming pool 10 and provide enough room above the water to enable the use of the swimming pool in the normal manner.

In FIG. 1 the dome is generally identified by the reference numeral and comprises a central connector member or spider 21 having 12 sides to conform to the number of sides in the swimming pool 10. A rod extends radially from each side of the spider 21 for receiving the upper end of a tubular support generally identified by the reference numeral 22. Twelve such supports 22 are provided with the bottom end of each of the supports 22 being slidably received into a bore in a bracket 23 mounted on the top rail 15 and the top end of each support sliding onto one of the rods 25. Since there are 12 of the supports 22, there are a corresponding number of brackets 23 with each bracket being mounted directly above a vertical leg 13 as clearly illustrated in FIG. 3. The brackets 23 are secured to the top rail 15 by bolts 24 so that they actually become a part of the swimming pool 10.

The supports 22 are formed of several sections of lightweight tubing, such as aluminum, so that the entire unit is light and can be compactly stored when not in use. Any number of sections can be furnished for performing each of the supports 22, depending of course, on the size of the pool. In the illustrated embodiment, each support 22 is formed of four tubular sections. As best seen in FIG. 2, a bottom section 27 is received in the bracket 23 and extends upwardly therefrom to receive a long intermediate section 28 which extends upwardly toward the center of the pool as an extension of the bottom section 27. A short intermediate section 29 extends upwardly and toward the center of the pool from the section 28 as a continuation of the latter with the section 29 being coupled to a top section 30 that extends radially from one of the straight peripheral sections of the spider 21.

FIG. 4 illustrates the arrangement for coupling the several sections of the supports 22 to each other. Thus, for example, FIG. 4 shows the arrangement for coupling the section 27 to the section 28 although all of these connections are made in the same manner. A coupling tube is inserted into the bore of the section 28 with a substantial portion of the tube 35 extending beyond the end of the section 28. A crimp 36 is then formed in the wall of the section 28 as well as the adjacent wall of the coupling tube 35 to secure the coupling tube 35 within the tubular section 28. Accordingly, the coupling tube 35 becomes a part of the section 28 with a portion of the coupling tube 35 extending outwardly from the end of the section 28. In order to couple the section 28 to the section 27 it is then only necessary to insert the extending end of the coupling tube 35 into the upper end of the section 27. A sliding fit is provided inasmuch as all of the sections 27, 28, 29 and 30 are formed of the same diameter tubmg.

To assemble one of these supports 22 it is only necessary to insert the top section 30 onto the cooperating rod 25 extending radially from the spider 21. The section 29 is then slid onto the extending end of the coupling tube 35 which is extending downwardly from the top section 30. In like manner, the top of the section 28 is slid over the extending end of the coupling tube 35 that extends from the lower end of the section 29, and the upper end of the bottom section 27 is slid onto the extending end of the coupling tube 35 that extends from the bottom of the section 28. The lower end of the bottom section 27 is then inserted into the cooperating hole provided in the bracket 23.

In this manner, all 12 of the supports 22 are assembled with the bottom end of each support 22 being coupled to a bracket 23 and the top end of each support 22 being coupled to the spider 21 at the top of the dome 20. It should be noted that the supports 22 can be bent in any desired manner to form the shape of the dome 20. In the illustrated embodiment, the bottom section 27 extends upwardly from the bracket 23 at a relatively small angle from the vertical and its upper end is bent toward the horizontal so that the sections 28, 29 and 30 extend at a much greater angle from the vertical to form the shape of the dome 20.

The supports 22 and the brackets 23 along with the central spider 21 form a framework for receiving a flexible sheet 40 which completely encloses the water in the swimming pool 10. As previously mentioned, of course, the supports 22 are shaped in such a manner as to support the flexible sheet 40 a substantial distance above the water in the swimming pool so that it does not interfere with the normal use of the pool by the swimmers. The flexible sheet 40 can be formed of different types of material but a clear plastic is shown in the drawing as a preferred embodiment.

Because of the large size of the flexible sheet 40 and the shape required, it is made of 12 separate sections and one of these sections is illustrated in FIG. 5. The 12 sections are provided to correspond in number with the 12 sides of the swimming pool 10. The section illustrated in FIG. 5 includes a bottom substantially rectangular portion 41 and an upper substantially triangular portion 42 with the peak of the triangular portion 42 meeting the peaks of the other sections of the sheet 40 at the top. These 12 sections shown in FIG. 5 are then welded together to fonn the dome shaped flexible sheet 40 which fits over the framework that extends upwardly from the top of the swimming pool 10 in the manner described.

In order to secure the bottom portion of the flexible sheet 40 to the swimming pool 10, a plurality of grommets 45 are placed in the bottom periphery of the flexible sheet 40 at suitable intervals. A grommet 45 is provided at each side of the vertical leg 13 as clearly illustrated in FIG. 1 and 3. A hook 46 is mounted on the outer vertical surface of each of the vertical legs 13 to cooperate with the two grommets 45 that are located directly above each of the legs 13. To this end, an S shaped hook 47 has one end inserted into each of the two grommets 45 and the opposite ends of the hooks 47 engage a resiliant strap 50 which extends about the hook 46 as clearly shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Tension is placed on the straps 50 so that they resiliantly draw the bottom of the flexible sheet 40 downwardly over the outer surface of the top rail 15. A strap 50 with its cooperating elements is provided at each of the vertical legs 13 so that in the illustrated embodiment, there are 12 such straps provided about the periphery of the flexible sheet 40.

To further secure the bottom of the flexible sheet 40 to the upper portion of the swimming pool 10, a plurality of grommets 51 are provided at the bottom portion of the flexible sheet 40 with each grommet being centrally located between each of every pair of adjacent vertical legs 13. A continuous line 52 is then threaded alternately under a hook 46 and through a grommet 51 about the entire periphery of the flexible sheet 40 to further secure the sheet to the swimming pool 10. It is thus apparent that the resiliant straps 50 and the continuous line 52 firmly secure the bottom of the flexible sheet 40 to the upper portion of the swimming pool 10.

In order to gain access to the interior of the dome 20 and the water within the swimming pool 10, a door 55 is cut out of one of the sections of the plastic sheet 40 and a zipper 56 selectively closes the door 55 to the plastic sheet 40. In like manner, one window 60 is illustrated in the drawings as being formed in the plastic sheet 40. The window 60 may be selectively closed or opened by the operation of a zipper 61. Only one window 60 is illustrated in the drawings but any number of such windows may be provided. It may be particularly desirable to provide a corresponding window 60 on the opposite side of the dome 20 to provide ventilation when desired.

The dome 20 completely encloses the area about the water in the swimming pool but extends sufficiently high enough above the water so as not to interfere with the normal use of the pool by the swimmers. The dome provides protection for the swimmers from the weather and at the same time protects the water in the pool from foreign matter that may be carried in the atmosphere. It has been found that the provision of the dome 20 over the swimming pool 10 greatly extends the use of the pool so that it may be comfortably used during weather which would otherwise render the pool useless.

On relatively cool days when the sun is shining it has been found that the radiation of the sun will very easily raise the temperature of the air within the dome 20, F. above the temperature of the outside air and raises the temperature of the water approximately 10 above the temperature of the outdoor air. In addition, of course, the wind can be excluded from the interior of the dome 20 so that swimmers may comfortably use the pool 20 during weather which would be unsatisfactory for swimming in the absence of the dome 20. On the other hand, if the temperature rises to too great a degree within the dome 20, the door 55 and the windows 60 may be opened to provide ventilation and cool the interior of the dome 20. If it is preferred to use the swimming pool 10 without the dome 20 on very warm days, it is a simple matter to remove the dome 20 from the swimming pool 10 by removing the flexible sheet 40 and disassembling the framework in the manner described.

From the foregoing detailed description of the illustrative embodiment of the invention set forth herein it will be apparent that there has been provided an improved swimming pool having a removable dome which efficiently protects the swimmers from the weather without interferring with the normal use of the pool. At the same time, the dome protects the water in the swimming pool from foreign matter which may be carried in the outdoor atmosphere. The dome is especially adapted to be readily assembled and disassembled and is formed of parts which may be compactly stored.

Although the illustrative embodiment of the invention has been described in considerable detail for the purpose of disclosing a practical operative structure whereby the invention may be practised advantageously, it is to be understood that the particular domed swimming pool is intended to be illustrative only and that the various novel characteristics of the invention may be incorporated in other structural forms without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the subjoined claims.

The principles of the invention having now been fully explained in connection with the foregoing description of the illustrative embodiment, the invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1. In an outdoor swimming pool having a peripheral rim above the water line; a plurality of brackets mounted on the upper periphery of the swimming pool in spaced relationship; a support in sliding engagement with each of said brackets so that the lower end of each support may he slid into and out of engagement with its cooperating bracket, each support extending upwardly from its supporting bracket and toward the center of the pool; a spider centrally located above the water in the swimming pool with the upper end of each of said supports being in sliding engagement with said spider so that said support may be slid into and out of engagement with said spider, the assembly of said supports into said brackets and said spider forming a framework over the water in the swimming pool; and a flexible sheet drawn taut over said framework to form a removable dome completely enclosing the space above the water in the swimming pool, said dome extending high enough above the water so that it does not interfere with the normal use of the water by the swimmers.

2. An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 1 wherein each of said supports is formed of a plurality of sections of tubing in longitudinal sliding engagement with each other to form a single support extending from the bottom of said dome to its top.

3. An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 2 including a length of tubing securedwithin the bore of one end of said sections with a portion of said tubing extending outwardly of said bore so that the end of the adjacent section of said support can be slid onto the extending end of said length of tubing to couple the sections together to form the support.

4. An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 3 wherein said length of tubing is secured within the bore of its associated section by forming a crimp in the wall of the section and extending into the wall of the length of tubing to prevent the withdrawal of the length of tubing from the bore of the section.

5. An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 1 wherein said swimming pool includes a vertical wall extending above the ground for retaining the water; a plurality of grommets spaced along the bottom edge of said flexible sheet; a plurality of hooks spaced about the vertical wall of the pool; and a continuous line extending through said grommets and about said hooks for securing the bottom of said flexible sheet to the swimming pool so that a single line may be drawn tight to pull said flexible sheet tautly about said framework.

6. An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 1 wherein said swimming pool includes a vertical wall extending above the ground for retaining the water; a plurality of hooks spaced about the vertical wall of the pool; a resilient strap extending about each of said hooks; and means securing the free ends of each of said resilient straps to said flexible sheet for securing the bottom edge of said flexible sheet to the wall of the swimming pool.

7 An outdoor swimming pool according to claim 1 wherein said swimming pool includes a vertical wall extending above the ground for retaining the water; a plurality of grommets spaced about the bottom edge of said flexible sheet; a plurality of hooks spaced about the vertical wall of the pool; a continuous line extending alternately through said grommets and about said hooks; a resilient strap extending about each of said hooks; and means securing the free ends of each of said resilient straps to said flexible sheet so that said continuous line and said resilient straps combine to draw said flexible sheet taut about said framework and secure it to the swimming pool but render it readily releasable for removal from said framework.

8. In an outdoor swimming pool having a vertical wall extending above the ground for retaining the water; a framework extending upwardly from said vertical wall and over the swimming pool; a flexible sheet over said framework to form a dome completely enclosing the space above the water in the swimming pool; a plurality of grommets spaced along the bottom edge of said flexible sheet; a plurality of hooks, spaced about the vertical wall of the pool; a continuous line extending through said grommets and about said hooks for securing the bottom of said flexible sheet to the swimming pool so that a single line may be drawn tight; a resilient strap extending about each of said hooks; and means securing the free ends of each of said resilient straps to said flexible sheet so that said continuous line and said resilient straps combine to draw said flexible sheet taut about said framework and secure it to the swimming pool but render it readily releasable for removal from said framework.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification4/499, 52/80.1, 52/82, 4/503, 135/119, 135/91, 135/138, 52/222, 52/63
International ClassificationE04H4/00, E04H4/10
Cooperative ClassificationE04H4/108
European ClassificationE04H4/10F