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United States Patent 3,855,643
Sanford ,   et al. December 24, 1974

SWIMMING POOL COVERING APPARATUS

Abstract

Apparatus for covering swimming pools having a skeleton frame mounted over a swimming pool and a flexible plastic sheet for disposition over the frame. The cover is held in place by elastic cords or cables attached to pin assemblies anchored in holes in the deck and to fasteners or fittings or bungies attached to the cover and spaced apart along the cover. The fittings are also spaced upwardly of the lower free edge of the cover and hence upwardly of the deck. In order to provide easy entrance into and egress from the pool, a portion of the cover is not secured to the deck by leaving off the fittings or fixture devices from a portion of the cover that it to be free to be raised for entrance into and egress from the pool. At the end of the pool, certain parts of the skeleton frame are attached to flanged fittings anchored in the deck which give the frame longitudinal stability.


Inventors: Sanford; George N. (Long Veach, CA), Sanford; William H. (Long Veach, CA)
Appl. No.: 05/418,541
Filed: November 23, 1973


Current U.S. Class: 4/498 ; 135/118; 135/119; 135/124; 135/906; 52/86
Current International Class: E04H 4/00 (20060101); E04H 4/10 (20060101); E04H 3/16 (20060101); E04H 3/14 (20060101); E04h 003/16 (); E04h 003/18 ()
Field of Search: 4/172,172.11,172.12 135/1R,3R 52/86

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
2958872 November 1960 Meyer, Jr.
3110908 November 1963 Newgard
3264656 August 1966 Clay et al.
3461890 August 1969 Goodrich
3512186 May 1970 Sanford
3608099 September 1971 Wall
3683427 August 1972 Burkholz et al.
3766573 October 1973 Burkholz et al.
Primary Examiner: Artis; Henry K.
Attorney, Agent or Firm: Raisch; J. C.

Claims



I claim:

1. Swimming pool covering apparatus, comprising:

a frame having a longitudinally extending ridge pole;

rafters each of which has one end secured to the ridge pole, said rafters being curved downwardly to provide intermediate supporting legs and spacing the ridge pole above the surface of the pool;

end rafters extending longitudinally of the pool and laterally from the respective lateral end rafters, said end rafters also curving downwardly; the lower ends of said rafters terminating in substantially the same plane;

means for anchoring lower ends of the rafters to the deck of a swimming pool;

a cover of flexible sheet material disposed on the frame;

fixture devices attached to the cover, said devices being spaced apart marginally of the cover and upwardly of the lower edge of said cover as well as upwardly of the swimming pool deck;

means engageable with said fixture devices for securing same to the deck of a swimming pool for securing the cover in place on the frame; said means for anchoring the lower ends of at least the lateral rafters to the desk of the pool comprise pin anchoring devices having a cylindrical body of resilient compressible material, a lower end of said pin anchoring devices being disposed in bores in a swimming pool deck, said pins having an annular flange intermediate their ends resting on the surface of the deck and said pins having a longitudinally extending bore and a split end portion, said bore tapering toward the lower end and a bolt having an externally threaded lower end portion which tapers at its free end.

2. The invention defined by claim 1, wherein the means for anchoring the lower ends of at least the end rafters comprises spaced parallel pins disposed in holes in the deck provided therefor said pins being of resilient compressible material and having longitudinally extending holes which taper short of the lower ends and said pins being split at their lower ends; a plate having openings therethrough in alignment with said pins; bolts extending through said openings and into the holes in the pins, said bolts being externally threaded and tapering toward their free end; hollow cups secured to the plates and being pivotly movable, said cups receiving the lower ends of the end rafters; and means for securing the rafters in the respective cups.

3. The invention defined by claim 2, hwerein said cups have drain holes therein.

4. The invention defined by claim 1, wherein the fixture devices are formed of wire with loops at each end, the loops being connected together by intermediate parts; a disc of resilient material of greater diameter than one of the loops, a portion of the cover extending through the loop, the disc being disposed between the part of the cover received in the loop and the loop.

5. The invention defined by claim 4, wherein the disc is of resilient material.

6. The invention defined by claim 5, wherein there is cord means extended through the other loop and secured to adjacent pins for at least the lateral rafters.

7. The invention defined by claim 6, wherein said cord means is elastic.

8. The invention defined by claim 7, wherein hooks are secured to the ends of the cord means, each of said hooks including a conical spring portion having an opening at the smaller end for reception of the cord with the free end of the cord knotted to prevent the cord from separating from the hook; and a hook portion adapted to be hooked in an opening provided therefor in the flange of a respective pin.

9. Swimming pool covering apparatus, comprising:

a frame having a longitudinally extending ridge pole;

rafters each of which has one end secured to the ridge pole, said rafters being curved downwardly to provide intermediate supporting legs and spacing the ridge pole above the surface of the pool;

end rafters extending longitudinally of the pool and laterally from the respective lateral end rafters, said end rafters also curving downwardly; the lower ends of said rafters terminating in substantially the same plane;

means for anchoring lower ends of the rafters to the deck of a swimming pool;

a cover of flexible sheet material disposed on the frame;

fixture devices attached to the cover, said devices being spaced apart marginally of the cover and upwardly of the lower edge of said cover as well as upwardly of the swimming pool deck;

means engagable with said fixture devices for securing same to the deck of a swimming pool for securing the cover in place on the frame;

said means for anchoring the lower ends of at least the end rafters comprises spaced parallel pins disposed in holes in the deck provided therefor, said pins being of resilient compressible material and having longitudinally extending holes which taper short of the lower ends and said pins being split at their lower ends; a plate having openings therethrough in alignment with said pins; bolts extending through said openings and into the holes in the pins, said bolts being externally threaded and tapering toward their free end; hollow cups secured to the plates and being pivotally movable, said cups receiving the lower ends of the end rafters; and means for securing the rafters in the respective cups.
Description



CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED PATENT

Applicant's U.S. Pat. No. 3,512,186

For: APPARATUS FOR COVERING SWIMMING POOLS

Dated: May 19, 1970

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates generally to swimming pools and relates more particularly to apparatus for covering swimming pools.

2. Description of the Prior Art

There are various means for covering swimming pools some of which comprise merely a large sheet of plastic or the like that lies on the surface of the water and adjacent parts of the deck when the pool is covered. When it is desired to use the pool, the cover must be removed and this presents a rather difficult operation. Further, when the cover is removed, there is a substantial loss of heat.

Other covering means for covering pools have a frame that is mounted over the pool and a flexible sheet of plastic or the like is placed over the frame. The covering sheet, must, of course, be secured to prevent it from being blown off the frame but such securing means are not very satisfactory and are complicated and expensive.

The reasons for covering swimming pools are to keep dust, dirt and other debris from being blown into the pool by the wind. Also, a great deal of heat is lost into the air from the surface of the water when pools are heated by the usual means and, hence, covering the pool greatly reduces the loss of heat.

Also in cool weather, using the pool looses much of the pleasure usually derived therefrom, for even though the water is warm the air is chilly and when one exposes even a part of his or her body to the air after being in the warm water, the chilly air is uncomfortable to many people.

The loss of heat from the water when the cover is removed substantially increases the cost of heating the pool. Also, where it is necessary to hire the cleaning of the pool, there is a labor charge that can become expensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a swimming pool cover arrangement having a skeleton frame over the pool. This frame may be readily set up and easily removed if desired. With the frame anchored to the pool deck, a plastic cover is disposed over the frame.

The frame comprises a longitudinally extending member or ridge pole and a plurality of laterally extending members or rafters at the sides of the ridge pole. These rafters curve downwardly to the pool deck so there is considerable space between the surface of the water and the plastic cover or roof for the pool. The ridge pole normally extends longitudinally of the pool and has oppositely extending end rafters at each end and from these rafters, there are secondary rafters that are normal to the end rafters and curve downwardly to the deck of the pool.

The rafters extending along the sides of the pool are anchored to pins secured in holes provided therefor in the deck while the secondary rafters at the end of the pool have their lower ends secured in sockets of anchoring devices that have parts secured in holes provided for them in the deck of the pool.

Means are provided for holding the cover in place. This means comprises fittings or fasteners which are termed bungies herein and which are attached to the cover, these fasteners or bungies being secured to the pins and to the anchoring means by elastic cords which have spring biased hooks at the ends for hooking onto the pins and the anchoring devices. The bungies are spaced upwardly from the deck and spaced horizontally along the cover thereby leaving a free lower peripheral cover portion.

With this arrangement, during the times that the wind is blowing, the wind will force the parts of the cover between the rafters on the windward side of the cover inwardly thereby compressing the air under the cover sufficiently to cause some of the warm air to escape under the free peripheral part of the cover at the down wind side to thereby equalize the pressure on the inside and the outside. This eliminates undesirable pressure build-up under the cover and actually causes a vacuum on the inside of the cover when the wind subsides even momentarily. This results in the cover being sucked down and firmly held in position on the frame.

Thus, there is an environmental control. Further, by opening either end of the cover, that is by raising same, any desired temperature may be provided on the inside. This may be desirable under certain conditions and it is to be understood that the sun on the cover heats up the air on the inside and hence heats up or warms up the water.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved swimming pool covering apparatus that is easily installed and which may be easily removed.

It is another object of the invention to provide apparatus of this character to which access is easily made all around the periphery of the pool.

It is still another object of the invention to provide apparatus of this character having effective means for securing the plastic cover in position on the frame.

It is a further object of the invention to provide an arrangement whereby wind blowing against the cover will effect an increase in pressure beneath the cover which pressure is relieved under a free peripheral marginal portion of the cover.

A still further object of the invention is to provide swimming pool covering apparatus which under certain conditions will cause a vacuum under the cover to thereby securely hold the cover down on the frame.

Another object of the invention is to provide a readily assembled frame.

Still another object of the invention is to provide apparatus of this character having improved means for securing the frame to the deck of a swimming pool.

The characteristics and advantages of the invention are further sufficiently referred to in connection with the following detailed description of the accompanying drawings, which represent one embodiment. After considering this example, skilled persons will understand that many variations may be made without departing from the principles disclosed and I contemplate the employment of any structures, arrangements or modes of operation that are properly within the scope of the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Referring to the drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present apparatus installed on a swimming pool, a portion of the cover being broken away;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial sectional view taken on line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 4--4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged underside view of a cross-shaped fitting such as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevational view of the means for securing the cover to the swimming pool deck;

FIG. 7 is a view taken on line 7--7 of FIG. 6 with a portion of the securing means shown in section;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 8--8 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 is a front elevational view as seen from line 8--8 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view as seen from line 10--10 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring more particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a swimming pool, indicated generally at 10 and covering means which includes a frame or skeleton, indicated generally at 12, and a cover therefor, indicated generally at 14.

The pool includes the usual bottom, side walls 16 and 18 respectively and end walls 20. There is the usual coping and a deck 22 extending outwardly from the walls and the coping of the pool. While the frame or skeleton 12 is shown as being symetrical, it may be asymetrical, or otherwise to fit pools of various configuration. The frame comprises a horizontal longitudinally extending ridge pole, indicated generally at 24, comprising a plurality of tubular members or pipe sections 26 secured together by aligned tubular parts 28 of a cross-shaped fitting, indicated generally at 30. The tubular sections are secured in the fitting parts 28 by means of set screws 32 (FIG. 5). There are a plurality of tubular members or pipes termed side rafters 36 which extends laterally of the ridge pole in opposite directions therefrom and are bow-shaped and turned downwardly, terminating at their lower ends in vertical portions 38. These ends are secured to the deck 22 at the sides of the pool by means of anchoring devices, indicated generally at 40 and termed herein pin anchoring devices.

Since the pin anchoring devices are all of the same construction, a description of one will suffice, one of such devices being shown in detail in FIG. 2. It comprises a cylindrical body 42 of resilient compressible material such as nylon for example. There is an annular flange 44 intermediate the ends of the body 42 and a lower end portion of said body is diametrically split or notched as at 46. A bore 48 extends longitudinally in the body and terminates in a threaded portion 50, the lower end of which tapers to the inner end of the notch. The lower end of the body is disposed in a hole 52 provided therefor in the deck and the flange 44 rests on the surface of the deck. A bolt 54 is disposed in the bore 48 of the body and the lower end portion 54a of said bolt is externally threaded, the lower end of said bolt being tapered.

To install the anchoring devices, the bolt is positioned with its head 56 spaced from the upper end of the body 42. The lower end is then inserted into the hole 52 in the deck so that the flange 44 rests on the upper surface of the deck. A suitable wrench or other tool is used to screw the bolt 54 downwardly causing the lower tapered end portion of the bolt to force expansion of the lower slotted part of the body. With the anchoring devices installed at the sides of the pool, the vertical end portions 38 of the side rafters are placed over the upper ends of the bodies of the anchoring devices.

There are a plurality of end rafters 58 which are bowed or arcuate in shape. The adjacent side rafters comprise several sections connected together with T-fittings 60 and the upper ends of these rafters are connected together with the T-fitting 62 which in turn is connected to the adjacent end of the ridge pole. The upper ends of the end rafters are connected to the T-fittings 60 while the lower ends are disposed in sockets 64 of anchoring devices indicated generally at 66. All of the anchoring devices 66 are the same so that a description of one will suffice.

Socket 64 of anchoring device 66 is pivotly disposed at the upper end of a stem 68 by means of a pivot pin 67, said stem extending upwardly from a plate 70 having a pair of holes therethrough for reception of screws 72. These screws have respective heads 74 and a lower end portion 76 that is externally threaded and tapers to a point. A pair of vertical holes 78 are provided in the deck 22 in each of which there is an expandable cylindrical nut or lead expansion shield 80 although it may be of any other suitable resilient material. Each of the nuts have a bore in the upper end thereof which tapers inwardly toward the lower end and each of said nuts 80 have a diametrical slot 82 in the lower end which communicates with the lower end of the bore. By screwing the bolt 72 into the nuts, the latter expands to firmly engage the walls of the bores.

The cup 64 is provided with a set screw 84 for engagement of the lower end of its end rafter disposed in the cup to thereby secure the lower end of the rafter. In order to prevent collection of water in the cups, there are drain holes 86 in the bottoms of said cups.

Means for securing the plastic cover 14 on the frame includes a device fitting or fixture, indicated generally at 90, which is formed of wire and has loops 92 and 94 at opposite ends, there being parallel parts interconnecting the ends. The devices 90 are resilient and are disposed at the inner side of the cover in upwardly spaced relation relative to the deck, there being a plurality of devices 90 which are spaced apart along the cover and are located between the rafters as best shown in FIG. 1.

Loop 92 is smaller than loop 94 and receives a small portion 96 of the cover (FIG. 7), this portion of the cover being held in the small loop 92 by a disc 98 which is of greater diameter than the loop 92, but is of somewhat resilient material such as semi-hard rubber although it may be of plastic such as, for example, nylon or the like. It is pressed through the loop 94 along with a part 96 of the cover and then moved upwardly to the loop part 92. Since the disc 98 is of somewhat greater diameter than the loop 92, it will not normally pass back through the loop although it may be forced back by sufficient pressure on the central part thereof.

Devices 90 are connected to adjacent anchoring devices 40 by means of a bungie cord 100 which is elastic although the cord may be of any suitable material elastic or non-elastic. Cord 100 is received in the large loop 94 and each end of the cord is provided with a hook, indicated generally at 102, secured to the free ends of the cord. Each hook has a conical spring portion 104 with a smaller end of said spring large enough to receive the cord. A knot, not shown, is tied in the cord and prevents the hook from becoming detached from the cord. Opposite the spring 104, the hook is provided with a hook portion 106 which is received in an opening 108 provided therefor in flange 44 of the anchoring device 40.

The ends of the cover may be similarly secured and held down with the hooks 102 hooked into openings 110 in the stems 68 of the hold-down devices 66. In order to provide easy entrance into and egress from the pool, a portion of the periphery of the cover is not secured to the deck. This is effected by leaving off the devices 90 from the portion of the cover that is to be free to be raised for entrance into and egress from the pool.

Any portion of the cover may be raised or opened by unhooking the devices 90 from the hold-down devices. Cover portions may be left free to be raised when the apparatus is installed. Raising the cover gives more freedom around the pool and allows hot air to escape for cooling the water in the pool should this be desired. Under some weather conditions, it may be desired to completely remove the cover while leaving the frame in position. Also, in the summertime, it may be desirable to also remove the frame and reassemble it again for cooler weather use of the pool.

The frame or frame work is made up of galvanized steel tubing or pipes although other suitable material may be used. The fittings and frame work may be painted and may be painted various colors. However, with certain types of tubing that are substantially corrosion free, the frame work need not be painted. In order to enhance the appearance of the cover, it may be of various solid colors. Alternatively, portions of the cover may be of one color and other portions of other colors to give contrast.

The enclosures provided by the present invention could be clarified as a suana.

The invention and its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the parts without departing from the spirit or scope thereof or sacrificing its material advantages, the arrangement hereinbefore described being merely by way of example and I do not wish to be restricted to the specific form shown or uses mentioned except as defined in the accompanying claims.

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