Title:
Ring for surrounding a pool drain
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ring for surrounding a pool drain to permit a pool cleaner to easily traverse the pool drain without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner includes a central portion positioned to surround a pool drain. The central portion has a predetermined height. An outer portion is displaced a predetermined distance relative to the central portion. The outer portion has substantially the same predetermined height as the central portion. An intermediate portion extends from the outer portion to the central portion. The intermediate portion provides a surface of substantially the same height as the central portion and the outer portion for enabling a pool cleaner to easily traverse a pool drain.



Inventors:
Hui, Joseph W. (Cupertino, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/222812
Publication Date:
03/16/2006
Filing Date:
09/12/2005
Assignee:
SMARTPOOL INCORPORATED
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH (PO BOX 747, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22040-0747, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A ring for surrounding a pool drain to permit a pool cleaner to easily traverse the pool drain without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner comprising: a central circular portion adapted to be positioned to surround a pool drain, said central circular portion having a predetermined height; an outer circular portion displaced a predetermined distance relative to the central circular portion, said outer circular portion having substantially the same predetermined height as said central circular portion; and an intermediate portion extending from said outer circular portion to said central circular portion, said intermediate portion including a plurality of radially extending slots extending from said outer circular portion to said central circular portion for providing a surface of substantially the same height as the central circular portion and the outer circular portion for enabling a pool cleaner to easily traverse a pool drain.

2. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein said central circular portion is spaced relative to a pool drain for providing communication therebetween.

3. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein the predetermined height of said central circular portion is less than a height of a pool drain.

4. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein said outer circular portion projects upwardly said substantially the same predetermined distance from a floor of a pool wherein a pool cleaner can easily traverse the outer circular portion, the intermediate portion and thereafter traverse the ring by riding on a reverse side of the ring.

5. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein the central circular portion is constructed of hard plastic.

6. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein the outer circular portion is constructed of hard plastic.

7. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein the intermediate portion is constructed of flexible vinyl.

8. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of radially extending slots extend from an upper surface of said intermediate portion to a lower surface of said intermediate portion.

9. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 2, wherein said central circular portion, said intermediate portion and said outer circular portion have a uniform height.

10. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 1, wherein gravity mounts said ring relative to a pool drain.

11. A ring for surrounding a pool drain to permit a pool cleaner to easily traverse the pool drain without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner comprising: a central portion adapted to be positioned to surround a pool drain, said central portion having a predetermined height; an outer portion displaced a predetermined distance relative to the central portion, said outer portion having substantially the same predetermined height as said central portion; and an intermediate portion extending from said outer portion to said central portion, said intermediate portion providing a surface of substantially the same height as the central portion and the outer portion for enabling a pool cleaner to easily traverse a pool drain.

12. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein said central portion is spaced relative to a pool drain for providing communication therebetween.

13. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein the predetermined height of said central portion is less than a height of a pool drain.

14. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein said outer portion projects upwardly said substantially the same predetermined distance from a floor of a pool wherein a pool cleaner can easily traverse the outer portion, the intermediate portion and thereafter traverse the ring by riding on a reverse side of the ring.

15. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein the central portion is constructed of hard plastic.

16. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein the outer portion is constructed of hard plastic.

17. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein the intermediate portion is constructed of flexible vinyl.

18. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein a plurality of radially extending slots extend from an upper surface of said intermediate portion to a lower surface of said intermediate portion.

19. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 12, wherein said central portion, said intermediate portion and said outer portion have a uniform height.

20. The ring for surrounding a pool drain according to claim 11, wherein gravity mounts said ring relative to a pool drain.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority under 35 USC 119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/609,263 filed on Sep. 14, 2004 the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention is directed to a ring for surrounding a pool drain to permit a pool cleaner to easily traverse the pool drain without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner.

2. Description of Background Art

Pool cleaners are utilized for automatically cleaning a residential or commercial pool by traversing the bottom and sometimes extending upwardly on the sidewalls of the pool to filter our impurities and debris from the pool. Conventional pool cleaners may be propelled by a jet of pressurized water or may be propelled by a mechanical drive mechanism to ensure that the pool cleaner is moved to traverse the bottom and/or side walls of the pool.

Presently, an antivortex or safety cover plate is used for covering suction drains in the bottom of a pool. The antivortex of safety cover plate is used to ensure that a swimmer is not entrapped or injured by water flowing out of the pool to a filtration system. Many pools are being retrofitted with an antivortex of safety cover plate as a safety precaution. The antivortex of safety cover plate will typically extend upwardly from the bottom of the pool and causes an obstruction that may trap a pool cleaner and thus interrupt the cleaning of the pool.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a ring for positioned around a pool drain to ensure that the pool drain does not form an obstruction for trapping the pool cleaner and thus interrupting the cleaning of the pool.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a ring for positioning around a pool drain that provides a level surface for ensuring that a pool cleaner can ride on an intermediate portion of the ring and over the pool drain without being interrupted in the cleaning of the pool.

These and other objects are achieved by providing a ring for surrounding a pool drain to permit a pool cleaner to easily traverse the pool drain without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner that includes a central portion positioned to surround a pool drain. The central portion has a predetermined height. An outer portion is displaced a predetermined distance relative to the central portion. The outer portion has substantially the same predetermined height as the central portion. An intermediate portion extends from the outer portion to the central portion. The intermediate portion provides a surface of substantially the same height as the central portion and the outer portion for enabling a pool cleaner to easily traverse a pool drain without being interrupted in the cleaning of the pool.

Further scope of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description given hereinafter. However, it should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating preferred embodiments of the invention, are given by way of illustration only, since various changes and modifications within the spirit and scope of the invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from this detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description given hereinbelow and the accompanying drawings which are given by way of illustration only, and thus are not limitative of the present invention, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a ring for surrounding a pool drain;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a ring positioned around the pool drain; and

FIG. 3 is a is a cross-sectional view of the ring for surrounding a pool drain.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, a ring 10 is provided for surrounding a pool drain 20 that is mounted over a drain in the bottom of a pool to act as an antivortex or safety cover plate to ensure that an individual is not injured as water is sucked from the pool for filtering the water. The ring 10 is designed to surround the pool drain 20 so that a pool cleaner, not illustrated, can easily traverse the pool drain 20 without interfering with the traversing movement of the pool cleaner.

A central portion 12 is provided for being positioned to surround a pool drain 20. The central portion 12 has a predetermined height and may be of any desired shaped. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shape of the central portion 12 may be circular.

An outer portion 14 is displaced a predetermined distance relative to the central portion 12. The outer portion 14 has substantially the same predetermined height as the central portion 12. In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shape of the outer portion 14 may be circular.

An intermediate portion 16 extends from said outer portion 14 to said central portion 12. The intermediate portion 16 includes a plurality of radially extending slots 18 extending from said outer portion 14 to said central portion 12 for providing a surface of substantially the same height as the central portion 12 and the outer portion 14 for enabling a pool cleaner to easily traverse a pool drain 20.

The ring 10 may be circular in shape with the central portion 12 is spaced a distance D relative to a pool drain 20 for providing communication therebetween. The pool drain 20 includes apertures 22 for permitting water to be sucked from the pool to a filtration unit or for draining the pool.

The height of the central portion 12 is less than a height of a pool drain 20. The outer portion 14 projects upwardly substantially the same height from a floor 30 of a pool. Thus, when a pool cleaner approaches the ring 10, the pool cleaner can easily traverse the outer portion 14, the intermediate portion 16, the central portion 12 and thereafter traverse the ring 10 by riding on a reverse side of the ring.

The central portion 12 may be constructed of hard plastic. The outer portion 14 may also be constructed of hard plastic. The intermediate portion 16 may be constructed of flexible vinyl. The plurality of radially extending slots 18 extend from an upper surface of said intermediate portion 16 to a lower surface of said intermediate portion. In this way, debris or other foreign matter may settle in the slots for cleaning.

The central portion 12, the intermediate portion 16 and the outer portion 14 may have a uniform height to be at the same level. The ring 10 may be mounted relative to the pool drain 20 by gravity that will hold the ring 10 relative to a pool drain 20.

The invention being thus described, it will be obvious that the same may be varied in many ways. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and all such modifications as would be obvious to one skilled in the art are intended to be included within the scope of the following claims.