Title:
Method and apparatus for forming swimming pool gutters
United States Patent 3929944


Abstract:
A method for constructing the side wall and gutter section of an in-the-ground, pressure-sprayed concrete, swimming pool and for forming a cantilever deck overlying the pool side wall. The method is performed utilizing apparatus which includes a reusable flat panel that is horizontally positionable over the perimeter of the excavation for the pool and a gutter form removably attachable to the underside of the panel so that upon spraying of concrete the side wall and gutter section can be simultaneously and accurately formed. After completion of the gutter and removal of the gutter forming apparatus, an independent reusable deck form is positionable in the gutter to facilitate laying of the cantilever deck.



Inventors:
OLIVER STEVE
Application Number:
05/437066
Publication Date:
12/30/1975
Filing Date:
01/28/1974
Assignee:
OLIVER; STEVE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
249/DIG.3, 264/35, 264/309, 425/59
International Classes:
E04H4/00; E04H4/12; (IPC1-7): E03C1/00; E03C1/24
Field of Search:
264/31,34,35,256,309,DIG.72 249
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3793428N/A1974-02-19Gordon
3610564CONSTRUCTION MEANS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A SWIMMING POOL1971-10-05Mottingly
3526070POOL DECK FORM1970-09-01Denson
3348801Cantilever deck form1967-10-24Denson
3313515Skimmer cavity casting apparatus with means for holding plumbing conduit1967-04-11Mullen
2729093Swimming pool and method of construction1956-01-03Ridley
2140978Swimming pool1938-12-20Beeby



Primary Examiner:
White, Robert F.
Assistant Examiner:
Pavelko, Thomas P.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Wolfe, Hubbard, Leydig, Voit & Osann, Ltd.
Claims:
I claim as my invention

1. A method of constructing in an excavation in the ground a swimming pool wall with a gutter about its periphery comprising supporting an elongated flat form panel in a substantially horizontal position above the periphery of said excavation and parallel to the upper side of the intended pool wall securing an elongated gutter form to the underside of said panel in parallel relation to said panel, pressure spray directing concrete from within said excavation toward the side of said excavation and the underside of said elongated form panel and gutter form thereby simultaneously forming a side wall of a pool with the upper side thereof at least partially bounded by said form panel and at least patially forming a gutter in the upper portion of said side wall, and removing said panel and gutter form.

2. The method of claim 1 including supporting said panel from one side in cantilever fashion over the outer perimeter of said excavation.

3. The method of claim 2 including supporting said panel by fastening it to a rail positioned in elevated adjacent the periphery of said excavation.

4. The method of claim 1 including only partially forming said gutter during pressure directing of said concrete with said form panel and gutter form in place, removing said form panel, pressure spray directing additional concrete with only said gutter form in place to complete the formation of said gutter, and removing said gutter form.

5. The method of claim 1 including applying a lubricant to said panel and gutter form prior to pressure directing of said concrete for preventing excessive cohesion of said concrete to said panel and gutter form.

6. The method of claim 1 including supporting a plurality of said elongated form panels in end-to-end relation about the perimeter of said excavation, and releasably securing said form panels together.

7. The method of claim 6 including securing a plurality of weir forms at longitudinally spaced intervals to the underside of said panels immediately adjacent said gutter form, and pressure directing said concrete about said gutter and weir forms to form a gutter with a ledge having longitudinally spaced relieved areas.

8. The method of claim 1 including supporting a cantilever deck form in the gutter formed by said panel and gutter form after removal of said panel and gutter form. and laying a concrete deck on top of said pool side wall immediately adjacent said gutter with said cantilever deck form defining the side of said deck, and removing said cantillever deck form from said gutter following laying of said deck.

9. The method of claim 4 including forming a bottom surface and one side surface of said gutter when said panel and gutter form are in place, and forming a second opposed side surface of said gutter after removal of said panel.

Description:
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to swimming pools, and more particularly, to an improved method and apparatus for forming the gutter section and cantilever deck of swimming pools.

By reason of state and local laws, swimming pools, whether public or private, commonly are required to have a gutter section about its upper perimeter. First, such gutters provide a ledge which a swimmer may readily grasp and hold when in the pool. In addition, such gutters have facilitated the recirculation of pool water when selected areas of the gutter ledge are relieved to permit the continuous flow of water into the gutter, which water then drains to a central pumping area for recirculation through a filtering system and back into the pool.

While the gutter has been a relatively important feature of swimming pools, it heretofore has been a time consuming and relatively expensive portion of the pool to contruct, particularly in pools that are formed from a pressure-sprayed concrete and sand mixture, commonly called gunite. In such gunite pools, it generally has been necessary to independently construct the gutter after the pool side walls have been formed. In one prior gutter construction method, for example, when the side walls of the pool have been completed, a bond beam is separately formed on top of the side walls to define an outer wall of the gutter. The inner wall or ledge of the gutter is then manually constructed out of several slabs of tile. These several steps of forming the side wall, bond beam, and tile ledge generally each must be carried out on successive days.

In another method of constructing the gutter of such gunite pools, following formation of the basic side walls of the pool, a metal frame is constructed on top of the side walls, onto which a stainless steel preformed gutter is secured. After the steel gutter is in place, gunite in then shot to fill in the areas below and to the side of the gutter to complete the pool side wall and to permanently embed the steel gutter therein. Such a multi-step process again usually requires several working days to complete. In addition, since the steel gutter form remains in the side wall, it substantially increases the cost of the pool.

When a cantilever deck is to be constructed outwardly from the top of the pool side walls, certain of these prior gutter constructions have presented still further problems. In many gunite formed swimming pools, the upper surface of the pool side wall, or the bond beam, is left relatively rough and uneven, and must be manually leveled and smoothed before the cantilever deck may be laid. Such procedure further increases the construction time of the pool, and thus, the cost.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and apparatus for more efficiently and economically forming the gutter of a gunite constructed swimming pool.

Another object is to provide a method of forming a substantially monolithic gutter section in a gunite swimming pool. A related object is to provide such a method which permits simultaneous formation of the gutter and side wall and enables their completion in a single working day.

A further object is to provide a method and apparatus as characterized above which is adapted to form the gutter with a smooth, finished appearance.

Yet another object is to provide a method and apparatus of the above kind which facilitates the accurate and efficient laying of a concrete cantilever deck upon the pool side wall.

Still another object is to provide an apparatus of the above kind that is reusable and substantially maintenance free.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a vertical section showing an excavation with gutter forming apparatus embodying the present invention in assembled relation thereto;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1 taken in the plane of line 2--2;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section comparable to FIG. 1, but showing the excavation after gunite has been shot to form the bottom and side walls of the pool;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged vertical section of the upper side wall of the pool with a portion of the gutter forming apparatus removed and additional gunite applied to complete the side wall and gutter;

FIG. 5 is a vertical section, comparable to FIG. 4, but showing the final gutter construction with the gutter forming apparatus completely removed;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged elevational view of the gutter forming apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 6a shows a second form of means for securing the leveling arm to the shooting panel of the illustrated apparatus;

FIG. 7 is a plane view of the gutter forming apparatus shown in FIG. 6 taken in the plane of line 7--7;

FIG. 8 is a perspective of one of the gutter forms used with the apparatus of the present invention for further forming a drain section of the gutter;

FIG. 9 is a perspective of the gutter form shown in FIG. 6 with a weir form supported adjacent thereto;

FIG. 10 is a vertical section of the finished gutter, comparable to FIG. 5, but showing a cantilever deck forming apparatus embodying the present invention supported therein and a concrete cantilever deck laid on top of the pool side wall; and

FIG. 11 is a side elevation view of the cantilever deck forming apparatus shown in FIG. 10 taken in the plane of line 11--11.

While the invention is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, a specific embodiment thereof has been shown by way of example in drawings and will herein be described in detail. It should be understood, however, that it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular form disclosed, but, on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equavalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown an excavation 10 in the ground 11 that has been made for the purpose of constructing a swimming pool. Prior to excavating, a wood perimeter rail 12 is set up to define the outer periphery of the excavation. The perimeter rail 12 is supported by a plurality of horizontal support members 14 which in turn are each nailed to a pair of stakes 15 that are driven into the ground at outwardly spaced distances from the periphery of the intended excavation. Following excavation, gravel 16 is spread throughout the bottom of the hole in a customary manner, such as at a gradually decreasing depth from about 6 inches in the deep end of the pool to about 3 inches in the shallow end. Appropriate plumbing may then be installed. In the illustrated embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, there is a horizontal water supply line 18 supported in spaced relation from the side of the excavation 10 at a position such that it will be encompassed within the side wall of the completed pool. A plurality of inwardly projecting pipes 19, each with a discharge nozzle 27, extend from the supply line 18. It will be understood that the water may be supplied to the line 18 from a central pumping station in a conventional manner.

To provide reinforcement for the bottom and side walls of the pool a network 20 of crossing, interconnected reinforcing rods are supported in spaced relation to the walls of the excavation 10 by suitable means, including support brackets 21. In order to further enhance the strength in the upper or bond beam section of the pool side walls, J-shaped reinforcing rods 22, each with an outwardly extending leg 24, are secured to the top of the reinforcing network 20 at spaced intervals.

In accordance with the invention, a reusable gutter forming apparatus is provided which permits efficient and economical formation of a gutter in the pool side walls as the side walls are being gunite formed. To this end, a gutter forming apparatus 25 is provided which includes a plurality of flat shooting panels 26 disposed in end-to-end relation about the perimeter of the excavation 10, with each panel 26 being secured at one side to the perimeter rail 12 and extending in cantilever fashion over the periphery of the excavation. The illustrated shooting panels 26 are secured to the perimeter rail by nails 28 which pass through apertures 29 formed along the side of the panels (FIG. 6). The shooting panels 26 preferably are made of aluminum of about 1/4-inch thickness and each is of a length, such as 8 feet, which enables it to be readily handled and nailed to the perimeter rail 12. Suitable fastening means, such as releasable brackets 30, preferably are provided for interconnecting the panels 26 in end-to-end relation.

For adjustably supporting the shooting panels 26 in a substantially horizontal position, a plurality of braces 31 are secured to the perimeter rail 12 in upstanding relation and an adjustable leveling arm 32 is secured between the upper end of each brace 31 and the opposite cantilever end of the shooting panel 26. The braces 31 each are formed with a flat bottom portion 31a having apertures through which fasteners such as nails 34 may be passed to secure the brace to the perimeter rail 12 (FIG. 6). An upper portion 31b of each brace 31 is perpendicularly disposed relative to its lower portion 31a and formed with an aperture for receiving a locking bolt 35. To permit selective positioning of the leveling arm 32 relative to the upper end of the brace 31, and thus adjustable positioning of the cantilever end of the shooting panel 26, the leveling arm 32 is formed with an elongated slot 36 through which the bolt 35 passes. A wing nut 38 is engagable with the bolt 35 for securing the arm 32 to the brace 31 at the desired position (FIG. 6). For securing the opposite end of the leveling arm 32 to the cantilever end of the shooting panel 26 in the usual case, as shown in FIG. 6a, a nut 40 is pivotably mounted at the end of the arm 32 and is adapted for threaded engagement by a screw 41 passing through an appropriate aperture formed in the shooting panel. The nuts 40 in this instance each are mounted on a stud 42 that passes through the end of the arm 32 and is secured by a wing nut 44. The appertures in the panel 26 are countersunk to receive the heads of the screws 41 so that the underside of the shooting panel has a substantially uninterrupted flat surface.

For the purpose of defining a gutter section in the finished pool wall, a gutter form 50 is detachably secured to the underside of each shooting panel 26. The gutter form in this case is a hollow, open-ended, square tubular member preferably made of aluminum. The gutter form 50 is removably secured to its respective shooting panel by studs 51 passing through aligned apertures formed in the top of the gutter form and the shooting panel for engagement by wing nuts 52. Suitable means may be provided for retaining the studs within the gutter form apertures to facilitate mounting of the gutter form to the shooting panel. The gutter forms 50 preferably are of the same length as the shooting panel 26, such as 8 feet, and are secured to the gutter form after the shooting panel has been adjusted to a substantially horizontal position by the leveling arms 32. After the gutter form is attached, the leveling arm 32 may be readjusted if necessary to insure horizontal positioning of the shooting panel. Since the shooting panels 26 are secured in end-to-end relation, the abutting ends of the gutter forms need not be positively secured together. As will become apparent, with the gutter forms 50 attached to the underside of the shooting panel 26, when the pool side wall is formed by pressure sprayed gunite the shooting panel 26 and gutter form 50 will define the upper surface of the side wall and gutter therein, respectively.

To form relieved sections in the finished gutter ledge so as to permit the flow of water from the pool into the gutter at selected locations about the pool, weir forms 55 are secured immediately adjacent the gutter form 50 at spaced intervals. Each illustrated weir from 55 is an upturned channel supported against the underside of the shooting panel 26. Since the weir forms are located only at spaced intervals, the ends of the weir forms each are enclosed by an end panel 56. To secure the weir form 55 to the shooting panel 26, a screw 58 passes through each weir form and shooting panel and is threadably engaged by the pivotable nut 40 of the associated leveling arm 32. It will be appreciated that when a weir form 55 is so secured to the shooting panel, the screws 41 normally used to secure the shooting panel to the leveling arm are replaced by the longer weir form securing screws 58. Since the weir form 55 is immediately adjacent the gutter form 50, a single bolt at its center generally is sufficient to retain it against relative rotational movement. The apertures in the weir form 55 through which the screws 58 pass again preferably are countersunk to receive the head of the screws.

In order to provide a drain area in the finished gutter that can be connected to a suitable converter to facilitate recirculation of water entering the gutter, one of the gutter forms 50a has a gutter drain form 59 secured to the underside thereof, as shown in FIG. 8. The gutter drain form 59 in this case is a rectangular enclosure permanently welded to the underside of the gutter from 50 a. Since for each pool there generally is required only a single drain area into which water from the entire gutter flows, only one of the gutter sections need be provided with a drain form 59.

Prior to assembling the gutter forming apparatus 25 in position over the excavation, a lubricant, such as vegetable oil or the like, preferably is applied to the surfaces of the panels 26, forms 50 and weir forms 55 that will later be exposed to gunite concrete. Such lubricant will prevent sticking of the forms to the concrete and permit easier removal of the forms from the finished pool side wall, as will become apparent. By applying the lubricant prior to assembling of the apparatus over the excavation it will prevent undesirable drippage of the lubricant onto the steel reinforcing rods 20 and plumbing 18.

With the gutter forming apparatus finally positioned and lubricated, the construction area is ready for the pressure sprayed application of gunite concrete to form the pool bottom and side walls. As is well known in the art, gunite concrete may be directed against the bottom and side walls of the excavation to the desired thickness. As shown in FIG. 3, gunite has been applied to form a pool bottom 60 with a thickness sufficient to completely encompass the reinforcing network of rods 20. The side walls 61 likewise have formed to encompass the reinforcing network, as well as the water supply line 18 and the outwardly extending inlet pipes 19. The spray nozzles 27 of the outlet pipes remain exposed. It will be appreciated that while in the illustrated embodiment the side wall 61 of the pool is of uniform thichness alternatively the upper portion of the side wall may be of greater thickness than the lower portion so as to form a more conventional bond beam appearance.

As further shown in FIG. 3, in forming the side wall 61 gunite concrete is directed about an outer side surface and a bottom surface of the gutter form 50, which defines in the side wall one side 62a and a bottom 62b of a gutter 62. In addition, an outer bottom surface of the shooting panel 26 establishes a top surface 64a of a gutter ledge 64 at locations between longitudinally spaced weir forms 55, and the weir forms 55 define a relieved section 64b in the ledge. In view of the location from which the gunite must be sprayed, however, a relatively small void 65 may result on the opposite side of the gutter form 50 (FIG. 3). To complete the formation of the pool side wall 61 and gutter wall 62c, therefore, the wing nut 52 may be removed to permit disassembly and removal of the shooting panel 26 while leaving the gutter form 50 in place. With the gutter form 50 remaining, the void 65 may then be filled, as shown in FIG. 4. The gutter form 50 is then removed, leaving a smooth, finished appearing gutter 62 with an outer ledge 64. As is inherent in such gunite spraying, although a portion of the wall section is shot at a later time there are no substantial adverse effects in the appearance or strength of the final wall section. It will be seen that the drain form 59 of the gutter form 50 a will similarly establish a drain recess (not shown) in the completed pool side wall 61 below the level of the gutter. Because of the extremely smooth surfaces which result in the formation of the gutter 62 by use of the apparatus 25, it will be further apparent that mere painting of the gutter, or any other cover, will achieve an attractive finished appearance.

In keeping with the invention, a reusable cantilever deck form 70 is provided to facilitate laying a concrete cantilever deck on top of the pool side wall 61. As shown in FIGS. 10 and 11, the deck form 70, which again preferably is made of aluminum, includes a base 71 and an upstanding portion 72. The base 71 is positionable in the botton of the formed gutter 62, and the upstanding portion 72 has a contoured upper end for defining the side of the deck. To releasably secure the deck form 70 in the gutter 62, there is a bracket including a pair of collapsible arm members 75 which are rotatably journaled together at one end. The opposite end of one of the arm members 75 is rotatably secured to a mounting bracket 76 at the upper end of the cantilever form 70, and opposite end of the other arm member 75 is rotatably attached to a mounting bracket of an aluminum foot 76. As shown in FIG. 10, when the arms 75 are in a raised collapsed position, shown in phantom, the cantilever form 70 may be placed into the gutter 62. The foot 76 may then be positioned adjacent the end of the form base 71 to firmly secure it in place. A suitable latch 78 is provided for securing the arms in their extended locked position.

With the cantilever form 70 in position in the gutter 62, the upper end of the upstanding portion 72 will establish the outer contour of a poured concrete cantilever deck 79. Prior to laying the concrete, a suitable expansion layer 80, such as rubber, is first provided on top of the rearward or bond beam section of the pool side wall 61. After the cantilever deck has been poured and set, by merely releasing the latch 78 and collapsing the arms 75 the foot 76 may be raised out of its securing position to permit removal of the form 70 from the gutter.

From the foregoing, it will be seen that the use of the method and apparatus of the present invention provides an efficient and economical means for constructing a substantially monolithic or one piece pool gutter and side wall. In summary, the construction steps are as follows. First, the perimeter rail 12 is set to establish the outer periphery of the excavation 10. The hole for the pool is then excavated, gravel 16 placed in the bottom, and plumbing 18 and reinforcing rods 20, 22 set up. The gutter forming apparatus 25 may then be secured in place. The shooting panels 26 are nailed along their edges to the perimeter rail 12 in end-to-end relation. Support braces 31 likewise are nailed to the perimeter rail 12 and the leveling arms 32 are adjusted to support the shooting panel 26 in a substantially horizontal position. The gutter sections 50, 50a may then be secured to the underside of the shooting panel 26 in end-to-end relation, with the gutter form 50 a located at the gutter drain location. In addition, weir forms 55 are secured to the underside of the shooting panels 26 immediately adjacent the gutter form and at spaced intervals about the perimeter of the pool.

With the gutter forming apparatus in place, the gunite may then be shot to form the bottom 60 and side walls 61 of the pool to the appropriate thickness. In doing so, the gutter ledge 64, including its relieved sections 64b, are precisely and smoothly formed. The gutter 62 itself also is formed, except for a possible void 65 which may be left due to the inability to shoot gunite into the area immediately behind the gutter form 50. Upon removal of the wing nut 52, the shooting panel 26 together with the weir forms 55 may be removed leaving the gutter form 55 in place. Any void 65 may then be filled to complete the side wall 61 and guttter 62. The cantilever form 70 may then be secured in the gutter 62 to facilitate pouring of a cantilever deck.

It will be appreciated that the foregoing method and apparatus enables the construction of a monolithic or one piece pool side wall and gutter section in significantly shorter time than previously required. In addition, the gutter and ledge have a smooth finish which can be easily and attractively painted or otherwise covered if desired. Moreover, the gutter forming apparatus is reusable so that there is no necessity of leaving expensive metal forms permanently in the pool.