US 3789435 A
A prefabricated swimming pool is described which comprises steel walls and integral deck formed of prefabricated panels. A vinyl liner is employed to contain the water. The panels, which are generally of an inverted L-shape, are supported by an exterior truss construction where they are joined to adjacent panels, which simultaneously provides mounting means for a fence post permitting safe enclosure of the pool. The pool is especially adapted for above-ground use. Its modular construction also affords a wide variety of sizes. Among its main advantages are low cost, and fast installation without the need for skilled labor.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 5, 1974 United States Patent [1 1 Heisner 3,458,875 8/1969 Michalka 6t 3,479,780 1 H1969 Schwarz et 3,720,064 3/1973 Hall Primary ExaminerHenry K. Artis  Filed:
 ABSTRACT A prefabricated swimming pool is described which  Appl. No.: 251,448
3335; comprises steel walls and integral deck formed of pre- 19 52/585 fabricated panels. A vinyl liner is employed to contain Fleld 0 i 63 16 the water. The panels, which are generally of an in- 52/588 9 verted L-shape, are supported by an exterior truss construction where they are joined to adjacent panels,  References cued which simultaneously provides mounting means for a fence post permitting safe enclosure of the pool. The
pool is especially adapted for above-ground use. Its modular construction also affords a wide variety of sizes. Among its main advantages are low cost, and fast installation without the need for skilled labor.
8 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures Minasy..... Schatzki... Lerner..... Lindsey et al. Billig et all PATENTEU F 5 I974 sum 10? 3 PATENTED FEB 5 IBM SHEU 2 BF 3 PAIENTEBHB 51am- SHEET 3 If 3 PREFABRICATED SWIMMING POOL This invention relates to swimming pool constructions, and in particular to a swimming pool constructed of prefabricated parts.
There has been a growing need for relatively inexpensive swimming pools of relatively large size. There has also been increasing interest in portable aboveground pools that are easily assembled without the need of skilled labor on a temporary location, such as a community center, for just part or all of a swimming season, and which can later be readily disassembled, the parts returned or stored, and thus the temporary location put to a different use. Known swimming pool constructions do not satisfy the requirements of large size, varied configurations to suit the available site, easy, low-cost assembly with minimum site preparation, and low material cost.
The chief object of the invention is a swimming pool construction capable of large and varied sizes and shapes, and inexpensive and easy to assemble without skilled labor.
A further object of the invention is a swimming pool capable of above-ground as well as below-ground installation.
Still a further object is a swimming pool that is sturdily built, attractive, and enjoyable to use.
Another object is a swimming pool that can be safely enclosed by a suitable fence to prevent accidents when unattended.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved, in accordance with the invention, with a swimming pool constructed or prefabricated panels constituting both a side wall portion and an integral adjoining deck portion of the pool enclosure. Joining together a plurality of said panels completes the pools side walls and provides a complete surrounding deck. The walls are supported against the pressure of the water by spaced sturdy truss constructions secured to the side walls and deck sections where the panels are joined together. Thus, the major connections all occur at the panel junctions, and this simplifies assembly.
Among the features of the invention are the use of generally L-shaped panel sections to form the side wall and simultaneously an adjoining deck section. Another feature is a novel truss member interconnecting the side wall and deck and bearing on a ground portion below the deck. Still another feature is the provision of fence post supporting means at the truss member enabling the ready mounting of an upright fence post at each panel junction, thus providing the foundation for addition ofa fence surrounding the pool. A further feature in an above-ground construction is the provision of ground bearing members for supporting the weight of the structural pool members and the weight of the water and assisting in the assembly of the pool. Still another feature is a novel coping for use with the pool.
These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be best understood from the following detailed description of several exemplary embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. I is a perspective view of one form of swimming pool in accordance with the invention with the vinyl liner omitted for clarity;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of part of the ground bearing members prior to assembly of the pool wall panels of the embodiment of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing how adjacent wall-deck panels of the embodiment of FIG. 1 are joined together and supported;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through one side of the pool along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1 but with the vinyl liner in place;
FIG. 5 is a detail elevational view of the truss support shown in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a modified wall-deck panel for a swimming pool in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 7 is a plan view illustrating how the wall-deck panels of the invention can be joined to form a pool corner;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of one form of coping in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the completed pool above-ground. The water is contained by a waterproof liner 10, not shown in FIG. 1 for clarity, usually of vinyl, which extends from the side walls 11 which enclose the pool and over the pool bottom which is the ground 12, or more usually over a layer of sand 13 on the ground. Extending around the periphery of the side walls 11 is a continuous deck 15. The deck 15 is in turn enclosed by a fence 16, comprising a plurality of upright posts 17 joined at their top by a railing l8 and around which is secured suitable fencing 19, such as a wire mesh. An opening 20, to be closed off by a suitable gate (not shown), provides access to the pool via a stairway 21.
A major feature of the invention is the construction of the side walls which enclose the water area and support the liner which contains the water. In accordance with the invention, prefabricated panels in a modular concept are employed to construct both the side walls and the deck. The modular concept, which involves the use of panels of the same size, or of several fixed sizes, allows for simple change in the pool length or width by the addition or substraction of panel sections. Prefabrication allows for low cost mass-production of the panels and their supporting structure at a factory site, requiring only the use of non-skilled labor to assemble the shipped parts at the pool site, usually by means of nuts and bolts. It will be appreciated that an additional requirement of th system is the integrity of the pool side walls. The pressure exerted by the water on the pool side walls is enormous. In an in-ground construction, much of the lateral wall support is taken up by the surrounding ground. In an above-ground pool, however, that lateral support must be provided solely by the wall supports. A feature of the invention is that, although the side walls are constructed of a plurality of parts joined together at the pool site, not only are the parts easily assembled and disassembled with unskilled labor, but the final construction is extremely strong and readily resists the tendency of the water to cause the Walls to bow out.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of two of the panel sections showing how they are joined together and supported, and FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through the completed pool adjacent a panel joint. The entire pool is made up of the panel sectons as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and, with the exception of the pool corners, all
of the panel sections are joined together in edge abutting relationship.
A typical panel in accordance with the invention has a generally inverted L-shape and may be constructed from a single sheet of metal, for example, galvanized steel, which is then bent to form a vertical side wall portion 31, and an adjoining substantially right angle, horizontal deck portion 32. In addition, the deck portion remote end is bent downwardly to form a short vertical deck end portion 33, and the wall remote end is bent sideways to form a short horizontal ground bearing portion 34. With the exception of the ground bearing portion 34, the sheet sides of the remaining portions are bent rearwardly to form side flanges 35. Suitable holes 36 air punched in the side flanges 35, and by securing suitable fasteners, such as bolts and nuts, through aligned holes in the adjacent flanges of adjacent panel sections, the latter can be securely joined to one another in edge abutting relationship. At the same time that the panel sections are joined together, a supporting truss member 38 is secured at the joint to the side wall 31 and adjoining deck 32, and also providing a ground bearing portion to support the latter at a ground portion lying outwardly from the wall but under the deck.
The truss member 38 comprises (see also FIG. 5) a first triangular section composed of, for example, angle iron and comprising vertical side element 39, horizontal side element 40, and joining hypotenuse element 41. The vertical side 39 is joined at its flange to the lower half of the side wall portion 31, and the horizontal side element 40 is adapted to bear against the ground 12. Also constituting part of the truss are two deck supporting struts 42, 43, which may also be of angle iron. Both deck-support struts 42, 43 are connected together to a portion of the deck flange: remote from the side wall. The first deck strut 42 is joined to the triangular section where the vertical side element 39 and hypotenuse element 41 meet, and the second.
deck strut 43 is joined to the triangular section where the horizontal side element 40 and the hypotenuse element 41 meet. The triangular section 39-41 can be prefabricated if desired and connected at the pool site to the other truss elements as shown. In addition, a plate 44 is provided as a cleat across the top of the truss 38 to reinforce the deck and also to provide with the vertical deck end portion 33 a mounting site for an upwardly extending fence post 17. In a preferred form, two side-by-side cleats 44 are provided, each of which has an end bent-over in the opposite direction, providing adjacent flanges 45, with punched holes 46, for receiving suitable fasteners for a mounting socket 47 for receiving and supporting the fence post. The various elements described are jointed together where they meet by suitable fasteners such as nuts and bolts to form a rigid truss structure 38 at each of the joints where adjacent panel sections meet, one such joint between two panels being shown in FIG. 3.
The assembly of the pool is facilitated by the use of a number of ground bearing plates and rods 01' strips, for example of metal, to distribute the weight of the wall-deck and water-filled liner and present excessive ground penetration of the various ground bearing members. This is illustrated in FIG. 2. A plate 50 is provided at the location of each wall-deck truss 38, and a strip 51 is provided extending from the wall truss location across to the opposite wall. By laying off on the ground the truss locating plates 50, which will be equally spaced apart, and by providing the crossing strips 51 in between as shown, the exact position of the pool can be established. The pool ends use a plurality of crossing interconnected strips 52 as shown in FIG. 2 to prevent movement of the various ground bearing members. The various parts positioned as shown may be fixed in position by means of spikes driven through suitable holes therein into the ground. Then the various panel sections 30 are joined together and to their supporting truss 38, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and positioned so that the remote end of each truss ground bearing portion is located over one of the rectangular plates 50. In this way, all of the straight side wall sections can be quickly assembled together. The manner of interconnecting the corner sections is illustrated in FIG. 7. The interconnection for the corner is a simple angle iron piece 55 which is joined to the vertical flanges of the adjacent side walls 30. No truss support is necessary, as those provided along the straight sides provide adequate strength for the assembly. The only additional support required is to support an additional corner deck section 56 to fill in the empty space. This can be secured in any convenient manner to the adjacent deck sections, and then supported by a post 57 extending from the comer to an underlying corner ground bearing plate 58.
After the entire side walls have been assembled, a
layer of sand 13(FIG. 4) is provided over the center ground and then the vinyl liner 10 installed and secured in place by a corner coping 60, and an appropriate covering 61 laid on the deck surface. The fencing is readily provided by mounting the vertical posts 17 to the cleat flanges 45 by means of a suitable support 47. Then the top railing l8 and wire mesh 19 are easily added.
Finally, corrugated panels 62, for example of plastic, can be secured across the truss sections to provide a very decorative and attractive exterior.
FIG. 8 is a cross-section of one form of coping usable with the invention. It comprises a one piece section of suitable material, for example, extruded plastic, comprising a deck seating remote flat end 71, and a deckwall seating corner end 72. A curved section 73 joins the two ends together. A recessed part 74, provided with a protuberance 75, serves to receive the liner 10, which can be snapped therein. A depending section 76, with threaded grooves, is used for mounting the coping on the deck, for example, by means of a screw through the deck wall 32.
While it is preferred to construct the integral walldeck sections out of a single piece of sheet metal, as this is the simplest and least expensive way of fabrication, it is also possible to provide such sections in two pieces for ready assembly at the pool site. One construction is illustrated in FIG. 6. The panel section 30' is the same as those illustrated in FIG. 3 except that the top of the wall section terminates in a short horizontal flanged section to be secured, for example, bolted, to a similar section 81 on the adjacent deck.
As will be observed from the foregoing, the size of the panel can be easily adjusted to fit available sites by the simple addition or subtraction of panel sections, both in the length as well as the width. It will also be evident that the pool can also be inset in the ground as well as above ground.
The pool described has a constant depth, for example four feet, which is sufficient for most needs. However,
it is readily adapted to be made with a deeper diving end where desired. For this purpose, a hole would have to be dug in the ground to the desired depth, for example 8 feet, and the panel sections surrounding the hole elongated in the vertical direction. Thus, 8 foot deep vertical panels would be provided, with four feet extending below ground and supported thereby, and the remaining 4 feet above ground and supported by the truss sections 38 as above described. It is also possible to slope the pool bottom between the eight foot deep end and the 4 foot deep end by using 6 foot high panel sections between 8 foot and 4 foot sections. The resultant pool would closely approximate in appearance much more expensive, all concrete, in-ground pools, and without a hopper diving end common to the lessexpensive family pools, which restricts the available diving area.
While described especially for above-ground use, it will be understood that the novel construction also offers certain advantages for in-ground use. For instance, the integral deck provides a built-in surrounding walkway which eliminates the need for a separate concrete installation. The latter is especially disadvantageous because concrete installation is normally not possible unti the ground settles, which may take as much as several months. Also, the ease of adding a surrounding fence with the novel pool construction also sharply reduces the owners pool cost.
There has thus been described a novel swimming pool construction offering rapid installation, low-cost manufacture, sturdy construction, and attractiveness, utilizing the module principle and factory prefabricated parts affording a variety of sizes and shapes to suit available sites.
While my invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments thereof, those skilled in the art will recognize that various modifications are possible within the principles enunciated herein and thus the present invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed.
What is claimed is:
1. A swimming pool construction comprising an annular enclosure comprised of vertical side walls and an integral adjoining deck extending horizontally outwardly from the upper edge of the side walls and forming therewith a generally inverted L-shaped crosssection, and a waterproofliner extending along the side walls and the enclosure bottom; said side walls and deck comprising a plurality of prefabricated panels and means connecting the adjoining edges of the panels; and means located outwardly of the side walls and under the deck for laterally supporting the side walls against the water pressure exerted when the pool is filled and for vertically supporting the deck, said supporting means comprising a plurality of spaced bearing truss members each generally extending in a vertical plane and interconnecting the side wall with the deck at a portion remote from the side wall and bearing on a ground portion underneath the deck, said truss members being joined to the side wall and deck panels at their junctions with adjacent panels and beinglocated only at the panel junctions, each truss member comprising a triangular member one of whose sides is joined to a lower portion of the side wall and the other of whose sides serves as a ground bearing side, first and second tie members both having ends joined to the deck at a portion remote from the side walls and whose other ends are joined to the triangular member at opposite ends thereof, and a plate-like member extending horizontally just under the deck.
2. A swimming pool construction as set forth in claim 1 wherein each panel is made of metal and comprises a single sheet of metal formed into a general L-shape to constitute both a side wall portion and an adjoining deck portion.
3. A swimming pool construction as set forth in claim 2 wherein each panel further comprises a short outwardly extending horizontal portion at its base and a short downwardly extending vertical portion at the deck periphery.
4. A swimming pool as set forth in claim 1 wherein the plate-like member comprises two cleats with oppositely extending flange parts for supporting a pool enclosure.
5. A swimming pool as set forth in claim 1 and including a plurality of fence posts extending upward above the deck at locations above the truss members, and means for mounting the fence posts to the truss members.
6. A swimming pool as set forth in claim 1 and adapted for construction above ground and further including a plurality of ground bearing members located on the ground and extending at least partly under the truss members.
7. A swimming pool as set forth in claim 8 wherein the ground bearing members comprise a plurality of plates and a plurality of elongated ties extending under the pool between opposed truss members, and means for anchoring the ties and plate members to the ground.
8. A swimming pool as set forth in claim 7 and comprising a coping for mounting over the wall-deck corner, said coping comprising a curved portion, a recessed portion under the curved portion for receiving the liner, and means for securing the coping to the deck.