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Publication numberUS3820173 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 28, 1974
Filing dateJun 20, 1973
Priority dateJun 20, 1973
Publication numberUS 3820173 A, US 3820173A, US-A-3820173, US3820173 A, US3820173A
InventorsE Weller
Original AssigneeUwe Unterwasser Electric Gmbh
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Circulator for circulating water in receptacles
US 3820173 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

"United States Patent [1 1 Weller CIRCULATORFOR CIRCULATING WATER IN RECEPTACLES [75] Inventor: Elmar Weller, Schwabisch Gmund,

Germany [22] Filed: June 20, 1973 [2]} Appl. No.: 371,885

[30] Foreign Application Priority Data Mar. 17, 1973 Germany 2313326 [52] US. Cl 4/l72.17, 4/l72.15, 4/178, 128/66, 210/11, 210/169, 2l0/l1;l69 [51] Int. Cl E04h 3/16, E04h 3/18 [58] Field of Search 4/172,-l72.l7,. 172.18, 4/-172,15,178; 128/66, 67; 210/11; 169

[56] References Cited I UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,073,784 3/1937 Day 4/172.l7 2,826,307 3/1958 Pace 2l0/-169 3,286,712 11/1966 Roden 128/66 3,476,106 11/1969 Ritz et a1. 128/66 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATlONS 368,554 2/1923 Germany 4/172.17

45] June 28, 1974 11/1958 Germany 4/172.l7

Primary ExaminerHenry K Artis Attorney, Agent, or Firm -Michael S. Striker [5 7 ABSTRACT A housing has an upper first portion adapted to be located above, and a lower second portion adapted to be, at least in part, located below the level of water in a receptacle. The second portion has an inlet and an outlet. A pump and a drive for the same are mounted in the first portion and the pump has an intake port and a discharge port. A discharge conduit is provided in the housing and communicates with the discharge port and with the outlet. A reservoir is provided in the first portion and communicates with the intake port on a first level which is lower than that of the discharge port. An intake conduit is connected with the inlet and communicates with the reservoir on a higher second level so that there will always be a quantity of water retained'in the reservoirintermediate the levels, irrespective of the operating condition of the circulator, so that the pump is self-priming.

10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED JUN 2 8 i974 SHEEI 3 BF 5 Fig.3

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a circulator, and more particularly to a circulator for circulating for the pump, and a further housing component which extends at least in part into the water in the pool and has the inlet and outlet of the conduits which communicate with the pump. In these prior art constructions, the inlet to the suction conduit of the'pump is usually located below the level of water in the pool, so that even when the pump is stopped, the suction conduit or intake conduit of the pump will be filled with water with the result that the pump can immediately start-to pump water when it is put into operation, so that a priming problem does not exist in these pumps.

Other pumps known from the prior art are essentially similar to the ones just discussed, except that the suction intake is located at a level higher than the water level in the swimming pool. In this latter type of pump, shutting-down of the pump mechanism causes a problem in that the water will flowout of the suction intake so that, when the pump is to be reused, it will pump only air and will not operate unless and until it is primed. This means that the suction conduit must be filled with water, either manually or by means of devices which have proven to'be susceptible to malfunction. In either case, this is a tiresome operation. It would, of course, be possible to use a foot valve in the suction conduit which would prevent the water therein from running out when the pump is stopped. However, experience has shown that these valves tend to lose their sealing effectiveness over a period of time and will then permit the water to run out of the suction conduit anyhow. Once this takes place, it is again necessary to resort to priming, just as if the foot valve 'had not been provided.

This type of circulator is most widely used in conjunction with private swimming pools where the timeconsuming and tiresome priming operation is usually resented.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I It is, accordingly, a general object of the present invention to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art.

More particularly, it is an object of the invention to provide an improved circulator for circulating water in receptacles, such as swimming pools, which avoids these disadvantages.

Still more particularly, it is an object of the present invention to provide such a circulator in which the suction intake to the pump is located above the level of liquid of the receptacle, but which nevertheless pennits immediate pumping operation without requiring priming by'a user when the pump is started up.

In keeping with these objects, and with others which will become apparent hereafter, one feature of the invention resides in a circulator for circulating water in receptacles, such as swimming pools, which, briefly stated, comprises a housing having'an upper first portion adapted to be located above, and a lower second portion adapted to be, at least in part, located below the level of water in a receptacle and having an inlet and an outlet. The pump and drive therefor are mounted in the first portion and the pump has an intake port and adischarge port. A discharge conduit is provided in the housing and communicates with the discharge port and the outlet of the lower second portion. Reservoir means is provided in the first portion and communicates with the intake port on a first level which is lower than that of the discharge port. An intake conduit is connected with the inlet of the lower second housing portion and communicates with the reservoir means on a higher second level. In this manner, a quantity of water will be retained in the reservoir means intermediate the aforementioned levels at all times, and in all operating conditions, so that the pump is self-priming.

This avoids the necessity for a foot valve and since no mechanical devices, such as a foot valve, are involved in assuringthe retention of adequate water forthe pump to be self-priming, a source of annoyance in conjunction with the use of such a circulator-is thus omitted with the construction according to the present invention.

The novel .features which are'considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in particular in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a circulator according to the invention;

FIG. 2 is a section taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1; FIG. 3 is a section taken on line 33 of FIG. 2; FIG. 4 is an elevation as seen on line 44 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section analogous to FIG. 2, illustrating the lower portion of the circulator with a section being taken in a plane located forwardly or upwardly of the plane of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Discussing the embodiment of FIGS. 1-6 now in detail, it will be seen that in FIG. 1 I have illustrated the novel circulator of my invention in a perspective view, showing it installed on the edge of a swimming pool. Reference numeral 1 identifies a first housing portion of substantially L-shaped configuration which is supported on a horizontal rim 2 of the pool. The remainder of the portion 1 extends-downwardly along an upright side wall 3 of the pool, and the usual water level in the pool is designated by the broken line 4. The housing portion 1 surrounds a pump and a drive for the same,

I of the pump. v I V Switchesll and'l2 are provided for starting and as well. as the inlet and outlet ports of the pump; Both of these ports are located above the level The housing 'of the circulator has a further. housing portion 5,'which joins the lower end of the housing portion 1 and is, as shown in F 10. l, partly immersed in the water in the pool, that is partly located below the level 4. The portion 5 is provided with anoutlet here illustrated as anozzle 6 which is also located'below the level 4 and which is connected in a manner still to be described with the outlet or discharge port'of the pump in the housing portion 1. In the'illustrated embodiment l have shown still a third housing portion 7 which ads joins the lowerend of the housing portion 5; it will .be

. l7','and both of theseconduits are fixedly connected gether are surrounded by the housingportion 1. The

pumpitself is provided with a pump 'housing31. The discharge conduit 23, which communicates the dis-, charge port 21 of the pump 1'9'with the nozzles 6, 9, ex-

tends laterally adjacent theintake or suction conduit with the housing portion 5. I

Accommodated in the housing portion 1 is an essential component of theinvention, namely a wat'erreser voir chamber 24 which is water-tightlyconnected with the pump 19 on the one hand, and with the conduits 17 1 and 23 on the other hand The configuration of the chamber 24 will be clearer from a comparison'of FIG.

discussed later that the portion 7 could be omitted but 7 in the illustrated embodiment it is present and provided with a furtheroutlet in form of an additional nozzle'9 which is also incommunication stopping the operation of the circulator, and since the with'the discharge port 5 circuitry. involved here is very. simple and well known;

to those skilled in the art, in addition to which it is not of any importance for the purposes of the present in-.

vention, no further details thereof will be'described,

Similarly, control levers l3 and 14 are provided which may serveto regulate the admixtureof air and the setting of the strength of streams of water which are ejected from thenozzles6 and/or 9. The details of the 1 holdin place aperson desirous tohave streams of water directedagainst his or her body from the nozzles 6, 9;

for massage purposes. Also, by means of the regulation 32 whennth'e latter is not iniuse, and a cap 3.5 ispro- 2 with FIG. 3, and also of P162 with FIGS. 4 and '5.

The chamber .is surrounded and defined by a wall 25 i which advantageouslwbut not necessarilys-is of synthetic plastic material and can readily be produced.

from such material'by injection molding, and'formed in this wall of one piece therewith are sections'26 and 27 20' of the conduits 17 and 23, respectively. The section 26 of the conduit 17 has an upper open end 33 whichconimunicates with the chamber 24 ata certain distance above the bottom of the chamber. The section 27of the conduit 23 is curved and connected with the discharge I port 21 of the pump 19, as shown in FIG. 2. The wall 25 of the chamber 24 is provided with lugs 28 and can be'secured via these lugs by screws29 or a screw 29 to a corresponding flange of the housing 31 of the pump I A free space exists in the interior of the chamber 24 between the wall 25 and the sections-26,127.'A filler conduit or nipple 32' is provided which communicates with this free space and with the exterior of the housing portion 1, so that the free space'ca'n: be filled. via this filler conduit .to'a level which isdetermined by the upper edge 23 of the section 26of the suction conduit 17,. A screw 34 is provided for closing: the. filler conduit afforded by the respective levers, the strength of the streams of water ejected from these nozzles can: be

made sogreatthat a sufficient flow will developinithe swimming pool for a swimmer to be'maintained station-" arily, that is for a swimmer toswim against this fiowbut not tomake headway. because of the'strengfth of the flow. Thesecomments are, however, merely of an explanatory naturebecause theydo not directly involve the structural features and Turning now to FIG. 2, it will be seenv that the'housing portions 5 and 7 are not in direct contact with the wall 3 of the pool, which wall is shown in chain lines in FIG. 2. Rather, they are spaced from the wall 3 by projections l5, which may be rubber tips or the like. so that there remains a gap between the rear side of the housing portions 5, 7 and the juxtaposed surface of the wall 3. Out of this gap wateriis drawn through a screen 16 at the rear side of the housing portion 5 into a suction conduit 17 (see FIG. 3) fromwhere it can pass to the intake port 18 of the pump 19 (see FIGS. 2 and 3). It should be pointed out that the reason why the suction conduit 17 is not visible in FIG. 2, and only shown in FIG. 3, is that'it is located forwardly of the plane'of FIG. 2 and therefore cannot be seen in that Figure.

The outlet port of the pump through which water is videdwhich covers the screw.- A somewhat. shellshaped baffle. 36 is provided which is close'd" in upward directionand has a downwardly open sidej37 located below the level of water in the chamber.24, which level 7 is determinedby the upper edge 33 of'the section: 26'. 7 5 V The baffle also has. an inletend (the ,righbhand-end, as

seen in FIG. 2) communicatingwith the intake'port of the pump 19.

It will beappreciated that when the "circulator is newly installed, thatis before it has been put into operation for the first time, the conduits l7 and 23, as well as the ports 18 and 21 of the pump 19, are filled with air because the pump is located above the level 4 of water in the pool. This means that when the pump is started up, it could not draw in any water and could not eject any water from the nozzles 6, 9, which, of course, are outlets. For this reason it is necessary, before the pump is started for the first time, to fill water into the chamber 24 up to the level determined by the upper edge 33 of the section 26, via the filler conduit 32. This water enters below the lower side 37 of the bafile 36 i also into the intake port 18 of the pump 19. If the pump 19 is started up when water has been thus introduced,

then the water in the chamber 24 becomes admixedwith air present in the suction conduit 17 and this mixture is expelled via the discharge port 21 into the discharge conduit 23. At the same time, water is drawn in via the suctionconduit 17 to each the pump 19. As

soon as the water-air mixture has been expelled via the discharge conduit 23 and the nozzles 6, 9 a strong flow of pure water (i.e., water whichcontains no air) is ejected from the nozzles 6, 9 after having been drawn out of the pool through the screen 16.

When the pump subsequently is stopped again, the level of water in the chamber 24 of the reservoir cannot drop beneath the upper edge 33 of the section 26. This means that sufficient water will remain for producingwhen the pump is subsequently restarted-the aforementioned water-air mixture which is adequate to cause immediate priming of the pump in the manner described above. Thus, the pump 19 is self-priming without requiring a foot valve and without having to be primed manually before every use. The chamber 24 with its wall 25 can be constructed in very simple manner and can equally simply be accommodated in the housing portion 1, being mounted in sealing relationship between the conduits I7, 23 on the one hand and the pump 19 on the other hand. Its sections 26, 27 provide for a ready connection between the two conduits and the pump.

Depending upon the particular construction of-the swimming pool, or upon other considerations such as the amount of water available, the degree of evaporation or the like, the level of water (designated in FIG.

l with the line 4) will not be the same in all pools. For i reason. I provide for the housing portion 5 and its associated components to be vertically telescopably displaceable in and with reference to the housing portion 1. Thus, the level of the nozzle 6 and of the screen 16 may be raised or lowered-,as the particular circumstance may dictate. Evidently, such a telescopic adjustment is possible only if the conduits l7 and 23 can be similarly adjusted. FIGS. 2 and 3 show that the housing portion 1 has an interior cross section which is larger than the outer cross section of the housing portion 5 so that the upper end of the housing portion 5 can be accommodated in and readily moved upwardly and downwardly with reference to the housing portion 1. Fixed-ly accommodated in and connected with the upper housing portion 1 andthe chamber 4 therein, for instance by means of suitable flanges, are two tubular parts 41 and 42 which each exteriorly surround one of the conduits 17 and 23, respectively, 50 that the latter can perform telescopic movements relative to the parts 41 and 42. At the lower end of the parts 41 and 42 the latter are provided interiorly with circumferentially extending seals 43 and 44, respectively. The part 41 is sealingly connected with the section 26, and the part 42 similarly to the section 27. It will be appreciated that with this construction the housing portion 5 can readily be raised or lowered with respect to the housing portion 1 and that this will not influence the proper functhrough. Rigidly mounted in vertical orientation on the of the housing portion 5.

It will be apparent that the circulator according to the present invention can fully well operate with a single outlet, that is with the nozzle 6. For this reason, the housing portion 7 could be omitted, as has been previously already pointed out. If it is present, as in the illustrated embodiment, then it abuts against the wall 3 of the pool by means of a projection such as a rubber buffer 15, in the same manner in which the housing portion 5 is so supported. In many instances, however, the side wall of a pool is not strictly vertical, either intentionally or unintentionally. Also, the side wall may be inwardly recessed, it may have unevenesses or the like. In any case, should this be the case, then of course the projection 15 of the portion 7 will not be in contact with the side wall and the housing portion 7 will therefore not be properly supported. In order to assure constant contact of the projection 15 with the side wall, to

reduce the stresses acting upon the housing, the invention provides for the lower housing portion 7 to be pivotably connected with the housing portion 5, so that it can pivot relative to the latter about a horizontal axis tion of the novel circulator. Evidently, it is possible in nected with them and has a vertical bore 46 therein order to permit adjustment of the housing portion 7 until its projection 15 can contact the wall 3.

FIG. 6 shows how this can be accomplished. Located within the housing portion 5, approximately midway between the conduits l7 and 23, there is provided a lug 51; a similar lug 52 is provided on a threaded member 53 and a pivot 54 extends through these lugs so that they can pivot relative to one another. The member 53 is fixedly connected with the housing portion 7,so that the latter can be tilted about the axis defined by the pivot 54, for instance into the position which is shown in broken lines in FIG. 6, in which the projection 15 will be in proper contact with the wall 3. To make this pivoting movement possible, a flexible hose portion or conduit portion 56 is interposed in the conduit 55 which connects the nozzles 6 and 9 with one another, and is held in place by means of hose clamps 57.

FIG. 2 shows most clearly that the nozzles 6 and 9 are mounted in ball and socket mounts, so that they can be pivoted to any desired direction. This is particularly advantageous if the housing portion 7, for instance, is in the broken line position of FIG. 6, because if the nozzle 9 were not so movable it would assume the inclined position shown in FIG. 6 also in broken lines. Due to the fact that it can be tilted at will, it is simply swiveled to horizontal position if this position is desired or preferred.

At least the nozzle 6 is provided with a slide valve 61 which can be horizontally shifted as well as being moved transversely to the plane of the drawing in FIG. 2, and which permits a user to direct the stream of water coming from the discharge port 21 of the pump 19 either in its entirety into the nozzle 6, partly into the nozzle 6 and partly into the nozzle 9, or entirely into the nozzle 9. It is, of course, well known how these valves 61 operate and they are, therefore, not believed to require a detailed discussion, except to point out that the necessary displacing movement can be imparted to t the member 61'via one of the levers 13 or 141 which can:

be coupled with it in appropriate manner for this purpose. As mentioned earlier, the mechanical details of such a coupling are not important for purposes of the present invention. a

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may alsofind a useful application in other types of constructions differing from the type described above.

While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodied in a circulator" for circulating water in receptacles, such as swimming pools, it is'not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may bemade without departing in any way from the'spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present, invention that others can. by applying current knowledge readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from thestandpoint of prior art, fairly constitute essential characteristics of the generic or. specific aspectsof this invention and, therefore, such'adaptations should and 2. A circulator as defined, in claim 1, and further comprising a shell-shaped baffle located-in said reservoir means concentric with said intake port in communication therewith, said baffle having a downwardly directed open side which is'located below the level of V a water in said reservoir means,

are intended to be comprehended within the meaning a and range of equivalence of the following claims;

What is claimed as new anddesired tobe protected by letter Patent is set forth in the appended claims.

1. A circulator for circulating water in receptacles,

such as swimming pools, comprising a housing having port; and an intake conduit connected with said inlet and communicating with said reservoir means on a higher second level, whereby there will be a quantity of water retained in said reservoir means intermediate said levels at all times, so that said pump is self-priming.

3. A circulator as defined in claim 1, and further comprising a filler conduit communicating withsa'id reservoirmeans and with the exterior of said housing.

4. A circulator as defined in claim 1, wherein said discharge and intake conduits each comprise one; section which is formed of one piece with said reservoir means.

5. A circulator as defined in claim 2, wherein said discharge and intake conduits each comprise an additional section separate from the respective one section, and wherein said pump includes a pump housing; and further comprising cooperating connecting flanges on said one and additional sections and on said reservoir means and said pump housing. 7 V

6. A circulatoras defined in claim 5, wherein said second portion of said housing is in part telescopically received in said first portionyand, whereinreach of said additional sections includes one part mounted in said first portion, and another part mounted'in said second portion, one of said parts being telescopable in the respective other part.

7. A circulator asdefined in claim 1, further com-pris ing a third housing portion located beneath said second portion; and connecting means connecting: said third housing portion with said second portion for pivotal displacement relative to the latter about a substantially horizontal pivot axis.

8. A circulator as defined in claim 7,-said third hous-- ing portion having an additional outlet; and further comprising flexible conduit means connecting said outlet nozzle with said additional outlet. 7

9. A circulator as'defined in claim '8, andfurther comprising means for controlling theflow of water passing through said discharge conduit. to the respec-- tive outlets.

10. A circulator as defined in claim 9, wherein said means for controlling comprises valve means interposed in said discharge conduit,

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U.S. Classification4/496, 210/167.1, 601/167
International ClassificationE04H4/00, E04H4/12, F04D9/00
Cooperative ClassificationF04D9/005, A63B69/125, E04H4/1245
European ClassificationF04D9/00C2, E04H4/12A3, A63B69/12B