US 3910840 A
The invention is an improvement in the construction and operation of conventional swimming pool skimmers designed to draw water from the surface of the pool. In such skimmers as have a trimmer valve for the purpose of adjusting the relative pump suction between a skimmer basket and an unrestricted deep water inlet, it is disclosed to provide a removable connection between the skimmer basket and the trimmer valve so that the trimmer valve may be regulated by moving the skimmer basket within its well. By virtue of the removable feature of the connection, the skimmer basket remains easily removable and replaceable for periodic service. Indicia are also provided on a portion of the skimmer basket visible from above, and on the adjacent pool structure so as to indicate the position of the trimmer valve as the skimmer basket is moved.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [H1 3,910,840
Adam l Oct. 7, 1975 l l VALVE ACTUATOR Primary lixumi'nerl rank A Spear, Jrv l75| inventor: Charles R. Adam, Middletown. NJ. Asslsmm Examuwriirerns Lander Attorney, Agent, or [-1rmSperry and Loda  Assignee: Cascade Industries, Incorporated,
Edison, NJ. ABSTRACT [22} Flled: 1973 The invention is an improvement in the construction [Zll Appl No: 423.057 and operation of conventional swimming pool skimmers designed to draw water from the surface of the I pool. In such skimmers as have a trimmer valve for the  210/91 2 l 5 9 12 ,55 4? purpose of adjusting the relative pump suction be- C old 35 00 tween a skimmer basket and an unrestricted deep 2& gri 19 242 water inlet, it is disclosed to provide a removable conl 0 earc f ,0 nection between the skimmer basket and the trimmer valve so that the trimmer valve may be regulated by moving the skimmer basket within its well By virtue of the removable feature of the connection, the skim- (56] References Cited mer basket remains easily removable and replaceable UNITED STATES PATENTS for periogich sezvice. lnljliclia are gillsof proviged on v U 210 359 portion 0 t e s immer as et visi e rom a ove. ant g jgl 2lOH6/9 X on the adjacent pool structure so as to indicate the po- 3:6l6:9l6 M97! Greens h 210ll69 X sition of the trimmer valve as the skimmer basket is 3,706,379 1 2/1972 Erlich i. 2lO/l69 moved.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures /fi\ r l l l :1 s 5' s 32 2s T0 PUMP 8 FlNE FILTERS US. Patent 0a. 7,1975
T0 PUMP B FINE FILTERS --T0 PUMP a FINE FILTERS VALVE ACTUATOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention This invention relates broadly to fluid purification devices. Specifically the invention is adapted for use with conventional swimming pool filtering devices which are designed to draw water from the surface of the pool into a filter system.
Conventionally these devices are termed skimmers. They are generally mounted in the side wall of a swimming pool with an inlet designed to receive surface water from the pool. The water-is then drawn through a skimmer basket and other filtering means by the suction of a pump for the purpose of removing debris from the pool water. Often skimmers also include a deep water inlet through which water is drawn by the pump, subject to the adjustment of a trimmer valve. With this arrangement the amount of suction applied to the skimmer basket can be regulated by setting the trimmer valve to direct more or less suction to the deep water inlet.
The means for adjusting the trimmer valve is the specific subject matter of this invention.
A preferred embodiment of this invention has been especially designed for use with the skimmer described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,765,543, however, the invention may be equally well adapted for use with most conventional skimmers.
2. Description of the Prior Art Large swimming pools often have more than one skimmer connected to a single suction pump. Usually each skimmer is then provided with a trimmer valve connected between the pump and the skimmer basket on one hand and a deep water inlet on the other. When the trimmer valve is open, the pump suction acts on both the deep water inlet and the skimmer basket. When the valve is closed the suction is directed primarily to the skimmer basket. Thus the relative suction of several skimmers may be adjusted.
In a different application a skimmer may be provided with a swimming pool vacuum attachment which is connected to and powered by the suction present at the skimmer basket. However, the vacuum requires more suction than the skimmer basket to operate efficiently. A trimmer valve may also be used for this purpose to provide greater or less suction as desired.
Generally, these trimmer valves are located in the well beneath the skimmer basket. If the valve is to be adjusted, it is necessary to remove the basket and reach down into the water to the valve.
It is therefore the primary object of this invention to provide a mechanism, whereby such trimmer valves may be easily adjusted without the necessity of the operator having to reach into the water in the basket well.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A preferred embodiment of this invention is adapted for use with a conventional swimming pool skimmer which includes a basket, a deep water inlet and a trimmer valve for regulating the relative suction between the skimmer basket and the deep water inlet. The invention generally consists of providing a removable connection between the trimmer valve and the skimmer basket such that the valve may be regulated by changing the position of the skimmer basket in its well. The removable feature of the connection allows the skimmer basket to be easily removed and replaced for regular servicing. By this arrangement the trimmer valve may be regulated conveniently and without requiring the operator to reach into the water. Indicia are also provided on the skimmer basket for the purpose of indicating the position of the trimmer valve as the skimmer basket is moved.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a general assembly drawing of a typical skimmer arrangement including the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the top of a typical skimmer basket and typical trimmer valve with the attachment of the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a typical skimmer basket showing the attachment of the present invention in exploded fashion.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In order to fully describe the present invention, it is necessary to describe in some detail a typical construction of the prior art. FIG. 1 illustrates the general construction of a typical swimming pool skimmer, generally designated 10 with the present invention included. The function of the skimmer is to receive water from the surface of the pool, filter it and then return it to the pool.
Accordingly, water from the surface of the pool may flow or be splashed over weir II which may be mounted behind surface water inlet 12. The water then flows into the basket well 14 and is drawn through a removable skimmer basket 16 by the suction of a pump (not shown). Typically, basket 16 traps larger debris only, such as leaves, while finer material is filtered elsewhere in the system. When it is desired to clean skimmer basket 16, deck cover 18 is removed and the skimmer basket 16 is lifted from the basket well 14 by basket handle 20 (shown in FIG. 3). Handle 20 may be conveniently offset from the axis of skimmer basket 16 to facilitate removal of debris from the skimmer basket 16. After being filtered and passed through the pump, the clean water is returned to the pool beneath the surface. The pump, fine filters and clean water return are not shown in the drawings in the interest of simplicity.
In order to provide for adjustability of the suction from the pump, and to prevent the pump from running dry if the pool water level should fall below the weir I l, skimmers are often provided with a deep water inlet 22 connected by pipe 24 to basket well 14. A trimmer valve 26 is also typically provided which, in the prior art, is manually adjusted to direct more or less of the pump suction to the deep water inlet 22. Thus the suction applied to the skimmer basket 16 may also be controlled. Further, trimmer valve 26 is often so constructed that it never fully closes the port to the deep water inlet 22, in order to prevent the pump from running dry if there is insufficient flow through skimmer basket 16.
Trimmer valves, generally, are also useful in association with a vacuuming attachment for cleaning the floor of a swimming pool. Typically, a vacuum attachment 28 is put in place by removing deck cover 18 and lowering the vacuum attachment 28 to rest upon the top of the skimmer basket 16. The difference in pressure between the water above the attachment and the water in the basket, which is under suction from the pump, will then be sufficient to hold the vacuum attachment 28 in place. The vacuum. however. requires substantially more suction to operate efficiently than the skimmer basket alone. Thus, when the vacuum at tachment 28 is to be used. the trimmer valve 26 should be moved to completely close the port to the deep water inlet 22. When the vacuum is not being used, however, such high suction would tend to draw a vortex of air down into the skimmer basket 16, thus lowering the efficiency of the filter system. Therefore, when the vacuum attachment is not being used, the trimmer valve 26 should be opened at least partially.
The manner in which this trimmer valve 26 is opened or closed is the subject of this invention. In the prior art trimmer valve 26 had to be adjusted manually after removing the deck cover 18 and skimmer basket 16. Aside from the inconvenience, this required getting ones hands wet as the trimmer valve 26 is generally placed below the water line.
Accordingly, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention. a trimmer valve 26 is located on the floor of basket well 14, which rotates around hold-down bolt 30 and thereby slides over the port leading to the deep water inlet 22. Preferably, skimmer basket 16 is circularly symmetrical and the axis of rotation of trimmer valve 26 is the same as the circular axis of skimmer basket 16. An extension rod 32 is also provided which is preferably rigidly attached to trimmer valve 26. When the skimmer basket 16 is in place in basket well 14, the extension rod 32 extends upward preferably through a grommet 34 in the bottom of skimmer basket 16. Thus a removable connection is provided between skimmer basket 16 and trimmer valve 26 so that the skimmer basket is easily removable and replaceable for periodic servicing.
When it is desired to adjust the trimmer valve one way or the other, the operator need only grasp the handle on skimmer basket 16, and turn it to the desired position. By virtue of the present invention the trimmer valve 26 will also be turned. Since the operator cannot actually see the position of trimmer valve 26, skimmer basket 16 is preferably marked on its upper ring 36, and the adjacent pool structure is correspondingly marked in a convenient place. with indicator marks 38, shown in FIG. 2. These may be color coded or shaped in any appropriate manner and preferably positioned to indicate three positions of trimmer valve 26: full open 38a. halt open 38b, and closed 384'. Although only three positions are marked in a preferred embodiment, the skimmer basket 16, and therefore the trimmer valve 26 may be turned as in the prior art to any position within such outer limits as may be convenient. Typically these outer limits are established to prevent trimmer valve 26 from closing fully or from turning around so far as to restrict flow through the port leading to the pump and fine filters.
Although the above description and illustrations of preferred embodiments of this invention specify with some particularity the location and form of the various components. it will be clear to one skilled in the an that many variations are possible. For example. the trimmer valve 26 may be located anywhere that it may be connected to the skimmer basket 16. The connection to the skimmer basket 16 need not be by an extension rod 32 and grommet 34 either, but it should be removable. Also trimmer valve 26 need not have a sliding action to close the port to the deep water inlet 22. These are examples only and many other variations of this invention will certainly be apparent. Therefore the above descriptions and illustrations should not be interpreted to limit the scope of this invention as it is claimed.
1. In combination with a swimming pool skimmer driven by a pump and having a skimmer basket. a deep water inlet and a trimmer valve such valve being for the purpose of regulating the relative suction between the skimmer basket and the deep water inlet means for operating said valve comprising an operative connection between the skimmer basket and said trimmer valve such that the position of said trimmer valve may be regulated by rotating said skimmer basket while it remains in place.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the skimmer basket is circularly symmetrical, the trimmer valve is rotatable about an axis, and wherein said trimmer valve is adjusted by rotating said skimmer basket.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein the operative connection between the trimmer valve and the skim' mcr basket is readily separable and comprises an extension rod rigidly attached to said trimmer valve and slidably connected to said skimmer basket.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein the extension rod is removably attached to the skimmer basket by passing through a grommet in the bottom of said basket.
5. The combination of claim 1 including indicia means cooperating between the skimmer basket and adjacent portions of the skimmer structure for the purpose of indicating the relative position of the trimmer valve.
6. The combination of claim 1 including indicia marked on a portion of the skimmer basket, visible from above, and on the adjacent skimmer structure such that the position of the trimmer valve will be indicated by the relative position of said indicia.