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Publication numberUS3722816 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 27, 1973
Filing dateApr 21, 1971
Priority dateApr 21, 1971
Also published asCA936898A1
Publication numberUS 3722816 A, US 3722816A, US-A-3722816, US3722816 A, US3722816A
InventorsBauer D, Britzman B, Britzman G, Stewart A
Original AssigneeMeridian Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Retractable fountain assembly
US 3722816 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

waited States Patent 1 Stewart et a1.

1 Mar. 27, 1973 [54] RETRACTABLE FOUNTAIN ASSEMBLY [75] Inventors: Andrew W. Stewart, Pasadena; Gilbert J. Britzman, West Covina; Dale M. Bauer, Glendora; Bruce E. Britzman, Baldwin Park, all of Calif.

[73] Assignee: Meridian Enterprises, Inc., Los Angeles, Calif.

[22] Filed: Apr. 21, 1971 [21] App1.No.: 135,990

[52] U.S. Cl. ..239/17, 239/165, 239/204 [51] Int. Cl ..B05b 15/10, 1305b 17/08 [58] Field of Search ..239/17,18,19,20,21,22, 239/23, 165, 203, 204, 587

[56] References Cited UNlTED STATES PATENTS 1,612,135 12/1926 Lorraine ....239/204 3,335,959 8/1967 Lockwood... ..239/204 3,425,633 2/1969 Stout ....239/204 X 3,104,822 9/1963 Muschett ....239/165 X 2,706,134 4/1955 Wilson et al.... ..239/204 219,946 9/1879 Huber ..239/23 1,370,252 3/1921 Williams ..239/165 X 2,091,790 8/1937 Mueller et a1. ..239/204 2,269,919 1/1942 Scherrer .....239/204 2,325,280 7/1943 Scherrer .239/204 2,360,203 10/1944 Cox .....239/204 2,501,910 3/1950 Oughton ..239/204 2,912,111 11/1959 Kovac ..239/204 3,002,696 10/1961 Jenkins ..239/204 X Primary Examiner-Robert S. Ward, Jr. Attorney-Huebner & Worrel 57 ABSTRACT sembly in its extended position. Said telescoping conduit sections being adapted for bleeding when said pressurized liquid ceases thereby allowing said conduit sections automatically to settle back to their retracted positions.

2 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 1 RETRACTABLE FOUNTAIN ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to fountains, and more particularly to a novel fountain assembly suitable for installation in a pool, such as a swimming pool or even a fish pond.

It is, accordingly, an object of the present invention to provide an improved fountain assembly suitable for installation in swimming pools which when not in use provides no obstructions in a pool so as to be safe and obviate the aforementioned disadvantage of prior art swimming pool fountains.

Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved fountain assembly which is characterized by being selectively extendable to an operative position and retractable to a storage position when not in use.

In accomplishing these and other objects, there is provided in accordance with the present invention a fountain assembly made up of a plurality of telescoping conduits or conduit sections. The lower conduit section is anchored or cast in the bottom of a swimming pool and functions as a housing. Means in the form of a pump for supplying pressurized fluid is provided for extending the other conduit sections upward therefrom to position the fountain in an operative position. Structure is formed on the conduit sections at their ends which mate when the sections are maintained by liquid pressure in an extended position to define fluid seals therebetween. Means are further provided for retracting the fountain from its extended position which preferably takes the form of loose couplings between the telescoping conduit sections so that water bleeds from the fountain assembly once pressurized water ceases to be pumped therethrough. Thereby, the extended conduit sections automatically settle to their retracted positions. A fountain head or nozzle is connected to the outer end of the upper conduit section to 'project water pumped through the communicating con.-

duit sections. The fountain assembly is suitable for installation in the bottom of a swimming pool since when retracted it is flush with pool bottom and presents no swimming or diving hazards.

Additional objects of the present invention reside in the specific constructionof the exemplary fountain assembly hereinafter particularly described in the specification and shown in the several drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a fountain assembly according to the present invention in its extended position shown installed in the floor of a swimming pool;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged section view taken along the line 2-2ofFIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the fountain assembly of FIG. 1 in its retracted position with a portion of the assembly cut away to expose internal parts; and

FIG. 4 is a top view of the fountain assembly of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawings in more detail, there is shown a fountain assembly generally designated by the numeral 10. The assembly 10 has a lower conduit section 12, an upper conduit section 13 and may have one or more intermediate conduit sections 14. For purposes of illustration, one intermediate conduit section 14 is shown in the drawings. The conduit 12 provides a housing or outer body for the assembly 10 and preferably is substantially cylindrical in shape. The lower end of the conduit 12 has a cap 16 secured thereon to seal closed the lower end of the cylindrical cavity defined therein.

The conduits 13 and 14 are also preferably cylindrical and are designed to telescope within the conduit 12 of the assembly 10 with the longitudinal axes of the conduits 12 and 14 being concentric. The conduit 14 is formed to have a diameter smaller than the diameter of the inner cylindrical cavity defined within the conduit 12 and has a lateral projecting annular rim or flange 18 on its lower end which mates in fluid sealing relationship against an annular shoulder portion 20 formed on relationship with a shoulder 24 formed on the upper end of the conduit 14 and the conduit 13 is dimensioned to fit within the cylindrical cavity formed within the conduit 14.

Connected to the upper or outer end of the conduit 13 is a fountain head or nozzle 26 of any suitable type having spray openings 30 formed therein, selected ones of which are designated. The fountain head 26 functions to project water pumped through the conduit system provided by the communicating conduits 12, 13 and 14 from the holes 30 in a predetermined decorative pattern such as the water spray pattern 32 illustrated in FIG. 1. It is noted that the fountain head 26 is preferably of an interchangeable type so that different water spray patterns may be provided by merely changing the fountain head being used. A seat 28 is formed in the upper end of the body of the conduit 12 for receiving the fountain head 26. The fountain head 26 and the upper end of the conduit 12 are preferably both substantially flat so that the fountain head 26 when mated with or seated the seat 28 is flush with the upper end of the conduit 12.

The fountain assembly 10' as illustrated in FIG. 1 is installed in the floor or bottom portion of a swimming pool. The pool floor structure is formed upon a layer of gunnite'34 reinforced with steel in the ground area 36 where the pool is being constructed. In order to accommodate the fountain assembly 10, a well 38 having a sufficient depth to receive the fountain assembly is formed in the gunnite layer 34. The assembly 10 is positioned in place in the well 38 in the true vertical and means for pumping water or another liquid into the cylindrical cavity of the conduit 12 are connected thereto. As shown in the drawings, these means include a stem pipe 40 which is connected through an inlet defined in the side of the conduit 12 to communicate with the interior thereof and a piece of piping or conduit 42 which is laid in the gunnite layer 34 and connected on one end to the stem pipe 40. The piping 42 is connected at its other end with a source of pressurized liquid indicated by the arrow 46, such as a valve controlled filter pump on a remote circulating pump. With the fountain assembly 10 properly positioned in the well 38, i.e., with its longitudinal axis positioned toextend vertically, the finishing plaster 48 of the pool is poured over the gunnite layer 34 to fill the well 38 thereby to lock the fountain assembly 10 in position and form a pool floor which is flush with the upper end of the conduit 12.

In describing the operation of the fountain assembly 10, it is assumed that the assembly 10 is initially in its retracted position as shown in FIG. 3 with the pool floor 48, the upper end of the conduit 12 and the upper surface of the fountain head 26 forming a flat bottom surface. To operate the fountain 10, the liquid source designated by the arrow 46 is selectively operated to. pump water under sufficient pressure into the pipe 42. The pressurized water flows through the pipe 42 and the pipe stem 40 into the cavity of the conduit l2.'It is noted, as shown in FIG. 3, that with the conduits 13 and 14 retracted into the conduit 12 that the fountain head 26 seated in the seat 28 makes a fluid seal at the upper end of the conduit 12. Further, the annular flange 18 on the conduit 14 has a diameter smaller than the inner diameter of the conduit 12. Therefore, the pressurized water entering the conduit 12 from the stern pipe 40 flows down the side wall of'the conduit 12 past the flange 18 on the conduit 14 and then progresses upward through the lower ends of the conduits 14 and 13. The boss 56 shown mounted on the cap 16 in FIG. 3 is provided to hold the lower end of the conduit 14 above the cap 16 so that water entering through the pipe 40 may gain access to the lower ends of the conduits l3 and 14 and exert pressure thereon. Since the water is under pressure, which is applied to the lower ends of both the conduits 13 and 14, the conduits 14 and 13 are forced upward to their extended positions as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. With the conduits l4 and 13 maintained in their extended positions, the associated flanges and shoulders 18, 20, 22 and 24 are forced against each other forming tight fluid seals so that substantially all the water pumped into the fountain 10 is projected from the fountain head 26 to form the decorative spray 32. It is noted that the lengths of the conduits 12 and 14 should be appropriately dimensioned so that when the fountain 10 is extended and in use the fountain head 26 is positioned just above the water line 50 in the pool.

To retract the fountain 10 to its storage position shown in FIG. 3, the water source 46 is simply shut down to stop the supply of pressurized water to the fountain assembly 10. With the supply of pressurized water stopped, the fluid seals provided by the shoulders and flanges l8 and 24 are broken since the water in the fountain 10 no longer exerts sufficient pressure to hold the flange 18 against the shoulder 20 and the flange 22 against the shoulder 24. Gravity then acts to pull the conduits 13 and 14 downward, and the water in the fountain l0 bleeds or leaks out the upper ends of the conduits 12 and 14 to permit the fountain 10 to settle back to its retracted position. It is noted that the lengths of the conduits 13 and 14 are made slightly shorter than that of the conduit 12 in order to permit the complete retraction of the conduits 13 and 14 into the conduit 12. Additionally, it is noted that the coupling or fit between the upper end of the conduit 12 and the cylindrical outer wall of the conduit 14 and between the upper end of the conduit 14 and the cylindrical outer wall of the conduit 13 are deliberately made to be somewhat loose or sloppy so as to permit the water in the fountain 10 to readily leak out the tops of the conduits 12 and 14 once the supply of pressurized water to the fountain 10 is stopped. It is this construction permitting the leaking of the seals formed by the shoulders and flanges 18 and 24 which provides the means which function to retract the fountain 10 once the pressurized water supply 46 is selectively turned off.

In the construction of an exemplary fountain assembly 10 for installation in a swimming pool at a point where the water depth was 3% feet, a fountain unit was constructed to have a length of slightly over 2 feet when retracted and almost 6 feet when extended. Thereby, a fountain assembly was constructed which was dimensioned so that its fountain head 10 would be positioned when extended just above the pool water line 50. A pump was used in this installation which supplied water at l2 pounds of pressure, which pressure was found to be sufficient to extend the conduit sections 13 and 14 of the fountain assembly 10 and provide a water spray of the pattern 32 shown in FIG. 1 having an optimum height of 8 feet and a radius of 5 to 6 feet.

It is noted that various modifications may be made in the exemplary fountain assembly in the spirit of the present invention. For example, in shallow pools, it may be desirable to omit the intermediate conduit section 14 and employ only one telescoping section, i.e., the upper conduit section 13. Alternately, in extremely deep pools, it may be desirable to incorporate several intermediate sections 14 in the fountain assembly.

Concerning the material used in the construction of the fountain assembly, any suitable material may be employed which will form conduits of sufficient rigidity to be extendable vertically upward from a pool bottom with a fountain head mounted thereon. The conduit' material, however, should be no heavier than necessary in order to minimize the liquid pressure necessary to force the fountain assembly to its extended position. Also, other types of equivalent means may be conceivably used for selectively extending and retracting the fountain.

Thus, there has been provided an improved fountain assembly characterized by being selectively extendable to an operative position and retractable to a storage position which is suitable for installation in the floor of a swimming pool since when retracted to its storage position the fountain assembly is flush with pool bottom. Thereby, diving and swimming hazards are eliminated from the pool when the fountain is not in use.

Although we have herein shown and described our invention in what we have conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of our invention.

We claim:

l. A fountain assembly, comprising: fountain head means having a top and bottom portion for spraying liquid received under pressure through its bottom portion out its top portion in a selected spray pattern, said top portion of said fountain head means defining a flat surface;

a cylindrical inner conduit having open top and bottom ends, said inner conduit having its top end secured to the bottom portion of said fountain head means and defining a liquid conducting channel between its top and bottom ends in liquid conducting communication with said fountain head means;

an annular flange of selected diameter formed around the outer periphery of the bottom end of said inner conduit to extend radially therefrom;

an outer conduit having a wall portion and open top and bottom ends, the wall portion of said outer conduit defining a cylindrical liquid conducting channel between its top and bottom ends of a selected diameter larger than the diameter of said annular flange, said inner conduit having its bottom end inserted within the cylindrical channel defined by said outer conduit and said outer conduit being dimensioned longitudinally to receive said inner conduit whereby said inner conduit may be extended from or retracted into said outer conduit, said outer conduit having an inlet defined in its wall portion;

first structure means closing the bottom end of said outer conduit in a liquid tight seal;

second structure means mounted on the top end of said outer conduit having a flat upper surface and defining in communication with the liquid conducting channel of said outer conduit an opening through which said inner conduit may be extended from and retracted into said outer conduit, said second structure means also defining an upwardly opening seat recessed below its flat upper surface designed to mate with the bottom portion of said fountain head means in a liquid sealing relationship by engaging and supporting said fountain head means with its flat top surface aligned flush with the flat upper surface of said second structure a I means, said seat being positioned above said first structure means a predetermined distance greater than the length of said inner conduit whereby engagement of said fountain head means by said seat holds the lower end of said inner conduit above said first structure means so that liquid can flow thereunder;

third structure means for engaging said annular flange to stop the extension of said inner conduit in a selected extended position and form a liquid tight seal between the liquid conducting channels of said inner and outer conduits, said third structure means including at least one intermediate conduit loosely coupling said inner and outer conduits together in a telescoping relationship so that liquid may bleed out of said fountain assembly through the loose coupling whenever said inner conduit ceases to be maintained in its extended position by pressurized liquid received through said inlet, said third structure means additionally including a shoulder formed on said intermediate conduit adjacent said inner conduit to mate with said annular flange to form a liquid tight seal between said inner and intermediate conduits whenever said inner conduit is maintained in its extended position by pressurized liquid received through said inlet, said third structure means also including shoulder and flange means formed on said intermediate and outer conduits to mate with each other to form liquid seals between said intermediate and outer conduits whenever said inner conduit is maintained in its extended position by pressurized liquid received through said inlet, said third structure means further including structure for holding said intermediate conduit above said first structure means closing the bottom end of said outer conduit so that liquid may flow thereunder; and means for connecting said outer conduit through said inlet in its wall portion to a source of pressurized liquid whereby pressurized liquid received through said inlet operates to extend said inner conduit to its extended position by flowing under the bottom end of said inner conduit through the liquid conducting channel of said inner conduit out said fountain head means. 2. A fountain assembly, comprising: fountain head means having a top and bottom portion for spraying liquid received under pressure through its bottom portion out its top portion in a selected spray pattern, said top portion of said fountain head means defining a flat surface;

a cylindrical inner conduit having open top and bottom ends, said inner conduit having its top end secured to the bottom portion of said fountain head means and defining a liquid conducting channel between its top and bottom ends in liquid conducting communication with said fountain head means; an annular flange of selected diameter formed around the outer periphery of the bottom end of said inner conduit to extend radially therefrom; an outer conduit having a wall portion and open top and bottom ends, the wall portion of said outer conduit defining a cylindrical liquid conducting channel between its top and bottom ends of a selected diameter larger than the diameter of said annular flange, said inner conduit having its bottom end inserted within the cylindrical channel defined by said outer conduit and said outer conduit being dimensioned longitudinally to receive said inner conduit whereby said inner conduit may be extended from or retracted into said outer conduit, said outer conduit having an inlet defined in its wall portion; first structure means closing the bottom end of said outer conduit in a liquid tight seal;

second structure means having a flat upper surface mounted on the top end of said outer conduit defining in communication with the liquid conducting channel of said outer conduit an opening through which said inner conduit may be extended from and retracted into said outer conduit, said second structure means also defining an upwardly opening seat recessed below its flat upper surface designed to mate with the bottom portion of said fountain head means in a liquid sealing relationship by engaging and supporting said fountain head means with its flat top surface aligned flush with the flat upper surface of said second structure means, said seat being positioned above said first structure means a predetermined distance greater than the length of said inner conduit whereby engagement of said fountain head means by said seat means for connecting said outer conduit through said inlet in its wall portion to a source of pressurized liquid whereby pressurized'liquid received through said inlet operates to extend said inner conduitto its extended position by flowing under the bottom end of said inner conduit through the liquid'conducting channel of said inner conduit out said fountain head means.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3921902 *Sep 30, 1974Nov 25, 1975Allis ChalmersCollapsible cooling tower
US4174808 *Oct 25, 1977Nov 20, 1979Edward LatinPool fountain
US4819874 *Jul 28, 1987Apr 11, 1989Geiger Emery AFor circulating water within a body of water
US4936506 *Nov 14, 1988Jun 26, 1990Ryan James ESwimming pool fountain
US5115974 *Aug 21, 1991May 26, 1992Hayward Industries, Inc.Apparatus for providing a waterfall or a fountain
US5201857 *Sep 19, 1991Apr 13, 1993Nix Terry GCool spray return adaptor
US5251343 *May 5, 1992Oct 12, 1993Paramount Leisure Industries, Inc.Swimming pool pop-up fitting
US5524399 *Jan 4, 1995Jun 11, 1996Avon Plastics, Inc.Landscape pond
US5933883 *Feb 4, 1997Aug 10, 1999Biancamano; VincentPool structure and fountain apparatus
US6079635 *Oct 14, 1998Jun 27, 2000Wet Enterprises, Inc.Water display nozzle shields
US6357058Sep 28, 1999Mar 19, 2002Vincent BiancamanoPool structure and fountain apparatus
US6595435 *Oct 21, 2002Jul 22, 2003Vortex Whirlpool Systems, Inc.Waterfall apparatus
US6611968Jul 10, 2002Sep 2, 2003Paul SwansonWater body (e.g., pool) water level replenishment system and method
US6871793 *Apr 3, 2003Mar 29, 2005Travis Industries, Inc.Fire and water display device
US8522372 *Aug 10, 2011Sep 3, 2013Matthew L. LafonIlluminated pool fountain system
US8733390 *Sep 18, 2006May 27, 2014John C. Kupferle Foundry CompanyAutomatic flushing device for municipal water systems
US20120227176 *Mar 12, 2012Sep 13, 2012Perry SicklerWet Niche and Accessories for Vinyl and Sprayed Cement Pools
WO1988001541A1 *Aug 25, 1987Mar 10, 1988Erkki OunaslehtoFountain
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/17, 239/204, 4/492, 4/507, 4/675, 4/490
International ClassificationB05B15/10, B05B17/08, B05B15/00, B05B17/00
Cooperative ClassificationB05B17/08, B05B15/10
European ClassificationB05B15/10, B05B17/08