United States Patent 3817382

A pool cleaning device for pools having flat, horizontal floors and upright sidewalls. One or more nozzles are continuously moved in a given direction over the pool floor and discharge water jets to thereby circulate debris on the pool floor and at least a layer of water above the pool floor in an opposite direction. Means is provided to gather debris circulating on the pool floor and withdraw such debris from the pool. The device is particularly well adapted for use with generally circular pools commonly known as vinyl liner pools placed above ground.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
E04H4/16; (IPC1-7): E04H3/20
Field of Search:
210/169,194,196,197 15
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US Patent References:
3689408N/A1972-09-05Edmiston et al.
3407430Vacuum cleaner construction for use inside tanks1968-10-29Renner
3265079Swimming pool cleaning apparatus1966-08-09Blumenfeld
3261371Swimming pool cleaning system1966-07-19Vernon
3254355Swimming pool cleaning device1966-06-07Shaw
3170180Swimming pool cleaning aid1965-02-23Winston et al.
3032044Automatic swimming pool cleaner1962-05-01Pansini
2977613Swimming pools1961-04-04Mikulas
2975791Automatic swimming pool cleaner1961-03-21Pansini

Primary Examiner:
Granger, Theodore A.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Townsend, And Townsend
I claim

1. A self-cleaning swimming pool comprising a substantially horizontal flat pool floor and a substantially circular pool wall extending upwardly therefrom, a swivel base for placement on the floor, the base including a water intake for connection to a water supply conduit, a water outlet disposed above the base, and means sealingly connecting the inlet and the outlet and permitting relative rotation of the outlet about a vertical axis; a substantially rigid, elongated tube for connection to the outlet in an orientation substantially perpendicular to the vertical axis; means for connecting at least one flexible hose with the tube intermediate the outlet and the free end of the tube for the discharge of water through such hose; a water discharge nozzle mounted adjacent a free end of the tube for discharging a water jet substantially parallel to the pool floor; and for rotating the tube about vertical axis a support wheel mounted to the tube for supporting the free end and permitting rotation of the tube about the vertical axis; whereby placement of the cleaner on the pool floor and supply of pressurized water for discharge through the hose and the nozzle rotates the tube and the hose about the vertical axis and continuously moves debris on the pool floor in one general direction; and removing means disposed adjacent the wall and the floor for removing such debris from the pool.

2. A pool cleaner according to claim 1 wherein the removing means includes a substantially vertically oriented drainage conduit terminating in a downwardly facing end, and means positioning the drainage conduit comprising a substantially horizontal plate connected to the conduit end, the plate having an opening through which water can be drawn into the conduit, downwardly extending, non-continuous sidewalls spacing the plate above the pool and defining an opening, whereby the opening can be positioned in the pool to face debris circulated by the water jets and aid in accumulating such debris beneath the plate for the subsequent removal through the drain conduit.

3. A pool cleaner according to claim 2 including means for the removal of debris from water withdrawn through the drain conduit and means for recirculating withdrawn water to the pool via the rigid tube and nozzles.


The cleaning of pools is a major task which must be continuously performed to prevent the accumulation of dirt that can plug conduits, filters, pumps, and the like and to maintain the pool in a sanitary condition. Various pool cleaners have been devised and are in successful operation. Such pool cleaners are adapted to clean the pool regardless of its shape, depth or size.

Although such cleaners work highly satisfactorily, they are relatively expensive. Pools commonly known as vinyl liner swimming pools, that are pools placed above ground which usually have a circular shape and which have a supporting frame constructed of metal or the like into which a water-tight vinyl sheet or liner is placed, are relatively inexpensive and substantially less costly than custom concrete pools built in the ground. For such inexpensive pools the cost of conventional cleaners is often unjustifiable. Thus, the owner of such a pool is faced with either purchasing a pool cleaner that might almost be as costly as his pool or foregoing the convenience and advantages of automatic pool cleaning equipment and doing it by hand.

The present invention provides a low cost pool cleaner ideally adapted for use with low cost vinyl liner type swimming pools. Briefly, a pool cleaner constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises means for circulating at least a bottom layer of water above a pool floor in one direction to move debris on the floor with the circulating water, and means immediately above the pool floor for removing the debris as it passes the last mentioned means.

The means for circulating the water and debris comprises a base that can be placed in the center of a circular swimming pool floor and which has a water inlet for connection to a supply of pressurized water, a water outlet and means permitting rotation of the water outlet about a vertical axis. A substantially rigid tube is connected to the outlet, extends generally parallel to the pool floor and terminates in a free end spaced from upright pool walls and supported by a free wheeling roller. The water and debris moving means comprises a water jet mounted adjacent the upper end of the tube and one or more flexible water hoses connected with the tube and terminating in water discharge nozzles.

When pressurized water is turned on, the outermost nozzle drives the horizontally disposed tube in a circular path about the base and drags the flexible hoses with it. The water jet discharged by the nozzle and the hose continuously moves at least the lowermost water layer of the pool and the debris on the pool floor in a direction opposite to the direction of rotation of the tube. The water and debris moves first generally outwardly towards the pool wall and thence along the pool wall.

The means for removal of the debris comprises a main drain defined by a drain hose mounted to a plate with a downwardly facing opening spaced from the pool floor by vertical sidewalls. The main drain has a vertical opening facing in the direction of movement of the rigid tube so that the oppositely moving water and debris can move beneath the drain hose and plate by entering through the vertical opening. A vacuum in the hose subsequently removes debris with pool water. The drain is positioned adjacent the upright pool wall so that the general water and debris motion along the pool wall, once they have moved outwardly from center portions of the pool floor, continuously guides debris into the vertical opening.

After removal of water through the drain hose it is conventionally filtered and recirculated by a pressure pump through a supply conduit, the base intake, the rigid tube and then out through the discharge nozzles.

The pool cleaner of the present invention is simple to construct and can be installed in the pool by the owner without the need for expert help. The cleaner is highly effective in removing all debris from the pool floor. Thus, owners of low cost pools can now take advantage of automatic pool cleaning equipment without incurring the prohibitive costs of prior art cleaners.

In addition, the cleaner of the present invention is lightweight, is not attached to the pool and can be removed at will. Thus, during use of the pool the cleaner can be lifted out to prevent it from obstructing the use of the pool floor. In a preferred embodiment of the invention the tube is rigid and has a radius substantially equal to the radius of curvature of the pool wall so that the cleaner can be stored closely adjacent and parallel to the pool wall during its non-use without obstructing the pool floor or requiring its removal from the pool.


FIG. 1 is a schematic, perspective side elevation, with parts broken away, of a vinyl liner pool fitted with a pool cleaner constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary side-elevational view, in section, of the pool cleaner shown in FIG. 1 and is taken on line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged plan view of the main drain of the pool cleaner of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a side-elevational view, in section, of the main drain and is taken at line 4--4 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a schematic plan view of another embodiment of the present invention.


Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional vinyl liner type swimming pool 10 rests on the ground and has a suitably supported vinyl liner 15 defining a flat pool floor 12 surrounded by an upright cylindrical pool wall 14. The pool is filled with water to a level 16. The pool includes a conventional skimmer 18 for the withdrawal and continuous filtration of water, and an inlet (not shown) for the return of filtered water. As is common, debris 20, such as twigs, leaves, plants and the like accumulates on the pool floor. Pool cleaner 22 constructed in accordance with the invention is provided to remove such debris from the floor and the pool.

The pool cleaner comprises a main drain 24 positioned closely adjacent pool wall 14 and defined by an upwardly extending drain hose or pipe 26 that exits through the skimmer and is connected to a conventional filter 28. Lower end 30 of the drain hose is connected to a debris collector 32 that has an open end 34 and rests on the pool floor. The collector may be weighted to prevent movements thereof in the pool and is generally constructed of a horizontal plate 36 secured to the lower end of the drain hose and is supported some distance above the pool floor by upright sides 38.

Pool cleaner 22 further includes an agitator 40 positioned at about the pool center. A relatively heavy, weighted base 42 rests on the pool floor and mounts a horizontally extending, substantially rigid tube 44 for rotation about the vertical axis 46. As is more fully described hereinafter, base 42 includes means for connecting it to a source of pressurized water such as a supply hose 48 connected to a pump 50 which draws its water from filter 28. An outer end 52 of tube 44 is supported by a wheel 54 for rotation of the tube about the vertical axis.

Horizontal tube 44 has a length which is less than the distance between an innermost edge 72 of debris collector 32 and the vertical axis 46 so that the horizontal tube can rotate past the collector without interfering with it.

A drive nozzle 56 is at the outer tube end and a pair of flexible inner and outer hoses 58 and 60, respectively, are connected to intermediate portions of tube 44. Free ends of the flexible hoses have water discharging sweep nozzles 62 that are preferably disposed inside the hoses so that they cannot damage the interior pool surface. Hoses 58 and 60 extend from tube 44 in the same direction in which drive nozzle 56 discharges a water jet when pressurized water is supplied to the tube and face in the opposite direction in which the debris collector opening 34 faces.

In operation, pressurized water supplied to horizontal tube 44 is discharged from drive nozzle 56 and sweep nozzles 62 in flexible hoses 58 and 60. As shown in FIG. 1, this rotates the horizontal tube in a counterclockwise direction about vertical axis 46. The relatively long, flexible hoses snake back and forth over the pool floor 12 between base 42 pool wall 14 while continuously discharging water jets. Reactionary forces from the water jets circulate at least a bottom layer of the pool water and after some time of operation the full body of pool water in the opposite direction in which the horizontal tube circulates or in a clockwise direction as indicated by arrows 64. In addition, the snaking hoses 58, 60 sweep laterally over the pool floor and move at least the bottom layer of the pool water generally spirally outward from the pool center towards pool wall 14. This spiral motion of the water is indicated by arrows 66. Once the spirally outwardly moving water approaches the pool wall it is deflected into the aforementioned generally circular path.

The water motion, which is most pronounced immediately above pool floor 12, carries with it debris 20. First, the debris moves spirally outward, as indicated by arrows 68. When it approaches pool wall 14 the debris moves in a generally circular path as indicated by arrows 70. Once the debris is in the circular path it continues to move along the pool wall until it approaches debris collector opening 34. The continuous withdrawal of pool water through the main drain creates a relatively strong water flow towards the collector opening which increases as it approaches drain hose 26. The relatively high velocity water flow towards and into the drain hose takes with it debris for removal from the pool water in filter 28. Thus, debris is continuously moved towards the main drain and then filtered from the water to maintain pool 10 in a clean and sanitary condition.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the construction of main drain 24 and particularly of debris collector 32 is described in more detail. The debris collector is preferably constructed of a non-corroding material such as a thermosetting plastic and sides 38 are integral with horizontal top plate 36. The top plate has a generally triangular configuration and a greatest width at open end 34. From the open end the top plate tapers down to less than about half its greatest width where it includes an upwardly extending cylindrical flange 74 for connection to drain hose 26. Sides 38 of the collector follow the outline of the horizontal plate and define a semi-cylindrical end 76 that is concentric with flange 74. To prevent movement of the debris collector on the pool floor weights 78 can be suitably attached to it.

For a conventional 18 foot diameter vinyl liner swimming pool with a water depth of 4 to 5 feet a main drain having an opening width of about 1 to 11/2 feet, an overall length of about 1 to 11/2 feet and a spacing between pool floor 12 and horizontal plate 36 of about 1 to 4 inches has given excellent results in drawing debris into the collector for removal through drain hose 56.

Referring to FIG. 2, the construction of agitator 40 is described in greater detail. Base 42 is defined by a circular housing 80 constructed of non-corroding material such as thermosetting plastic and which may include suitably attached and distributed weights 82 for retaining the housing on pool floor 12.

If necessary, vent holes 83 are provided in housing 80 so that the housing can be filled with water when placed in the pool and to prevent it from becoming buoyant.

A rotatable hose coupling 84, such as the one shown in U.S. Pat. No. 3,372,948, is provided with L-shaped end pieces 86 and connected to supply hose 48 with a union 88. Another union 90 connects the upper, rotatable L-shaped end piece 86 of the hose coupling to a horizontal tube 44.

T-connectors 92 are positioned adjacent outer end 52 of the rigid tube and at an intermediate point for the connection of flexible hoses 58 and 60 to the rigid tube. Drive nozzle 56 is positioned at the outermost end of the tube to afford the greatest moment arm for rotating the tube. Support wheel 54 is a relatively soft disc-shaped wheel constructed of rubber, plastic, or the like. A bushing 94 is provided to reduce friction between the wheel and the tube. Alternatively, when the rigid tube is constructed of polyvinyl chloride tubing or the like and the wheel of a semihard synthetic rubber or the like water lubrication is sufficient to provide a low coefficient of friction between the wheel and the tube and eliminate the need for a bearing bushing. The periphery of the wheel includes no threads and its corners are rounded to prevent sharp edges, corners or threads from damaging the interior pool surface. Moreover, wheel 54 has a diameter substantially greater, that is at least about four to eight times greater than the diameter of supply hose 48 to facilitate the ease with which it rides over the supply hose during each revolution.

In earlier mentioned circular, 18 foot diameter vinyl liner pool the base 42 is placed in the center of the pool and horizontal tube 44 has a length of between 6 to 7 feet so that it easily clears debris collector 32. Flexible hoses 58 and 60 have a length of between 4 to 8 feet. In operation the flexible hoses snake back and forth over the pool floor 12. They are sufficiently close to the main drain so that the water jets discharged by sweep nozzles 62 push debris not only into collector opening 34 but towards semi-cylindrical end 76 of the collector for removal from the pool. In this manner objects with a high specific gravity, such as chipped paint, sand, and the like are also readily removed from the pool.

Referring now to FIG. 5, in another embodiment of the invention the pool cleaner is identical to the just described one except that it has an agitator 95 employing a horizontally curved tube 96 extending outward from base 42. An outer end 98 of the curved tube includes a drive nozzle 56 and a support wheel 54 and flexible hoses 58 and 60 depend from the curved tube in the earlier described manner. The main drain (not shown in FIG. 5) is the same as the one shown in FIG. 1 and the operation of the pool cleaner is as described above. During nonuse of the cleaner, as when the pool is used for swimming and the cleaner could interfer with the enjoyment of the pool, agitator 95 is simply stored adjacent pool wall 14. The curved shape of the horizontal tube enables it to be placed closely adjacent and substantially parallel to the pool wall as shown in phantom lines in FIG. 5 so that the agitator occupies little space used by swimmers and is thus substantially noninterferring. To place it back into operation the agitator is simply picked up, base 42 is placed in the center of the pool and pressurized water is turned on to operate the cleaner.