Title:
Moveable swimming pool seat
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
here is provided a moveable swimming pool seat for use with a swimming pool that has a pool wall and a pool deck. The moveable swimming pool seat includes: an upper wall support member; a seat support member connected to the upper wall support member; a seat connected to the seat support member; a lower wall support member connected to the seat support member; at least one strap having a first end and a second end, with the first strap end connected to the upper wall support member; and a pin connected to the second strap end.



Inventors:
Smith, Michael W. (Tempe, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/975482
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/18/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
297/14, 297/217.7, 4/506
International Classes:
E04H4/14; A47C9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
GALLAGHER & KENNEDY, P. A. (2575 E. CAMELBACK RD. #1100, PHOENIX, AZ, 85016, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A moveable swimming pool seat for use with a swimming pool structure having a pool wall and a pool deck, the seat comprising: an upper wall support member; a seat support member connected to the upper wall support member; a seat connected to the seat support member; a lower wall support member connected to the seat support member; and at least one strap having a first end and a second end, with the first strap end connected to the upper wall support member; and a pin connected to the second strap end.

2. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 wherein the lower wall support member further comprises a horizontal support connected to the seat support member, a left lateral support connected to the horizontal support, and a right lateral support connected to the horizontal support.

3. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 wherein the upper wall support member, the seat support member, and the lower wall support member each comprise tubes.

4. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 3 wherein the upper wall support member, the seat support member, and the lower wall support member each comprise polyvinylchloride tubing.

5. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 further comprising a strap adjustment buckle attached to the strap.

6. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 wherein the seat further comprises an upper surface having a material for receiving printing.

7. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 wherein upper wall support member includes a wall contact.

8. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 2 further comprising a tube cap connected to each of the left lateral support and the right lateral support.

9. The moveable swimming pool seat according to claim 1 wherein the seat is hollow.

10. A moveable and adjustable swimming pool and seat assembly for allowing a user to sit in a swimming pool having a surface of water, the assembly comprising: a swimming pool having a pool wall and a pool deck; a pin receiver positioned in the pool deck; an upper wall support member with a first end positioned proximate to the pool wall; a seat support member connected to the upper wall support member; a seat connected to the seat support member; a horizontal member connected to the seat support member in moveable contact with the swimming pool wall; a left lateral support having a first end connected to the horizontal member and a second end in moveable contact with the pool wall; a right lateral support having a first end connected to the horizontal member and a second end in moveable contact with the pool wall; a strap having a first end and a second end, with the first strap end connected to the upper wall support member; and a pin connected to the second strap end positioned in the pin receiver.

11. The assembly according to claim 10 wherein the upper wall support member, the seat support member, the horizontal member, the left lateral support, and the right lateral support each comprise tubes.

12. The assembly according to claim 11 wherein the upper wall support member, the seat support member, the horizontal member, the left lateral support, and the right lateral support member each comprise polyvinylchloride tubing.

13. The assembly according to claim 10 further comprising a strap adjustment buckle attached to the strap.

14. The assembly according to claim 10 wherein adjustment of the strap relative to the snap adjustment buckle allows a user to raise or lower the seat relative to the surface of the water.

15. The assembly according to claim 10 wherein the seat further comprises an upper surface having a material for receiving printing.

16. The assembly according to claim 10 wherein the pin receiver comprises a tube selected from the group consisting of stainless steel, brass alloys, bronze alloys, and aluminum alloys.

17. The assembly according to claim 10 wherein upper wall support member includes a wall contact.

18. The assembly according to claim 10 further comprising a tube cap affixed to each of the left lateral support and the right lateral support.

19. A method for securing and adjusting a swimming pool seat relative to a swimming pool having a side wall, a deck, and a surface of water, the method comprising the steps of: securing a strap connected to an upper wall support member of the swimming pool seat; placing the seat in the swimming pool so as to submerge a seat connected to the swimming pool seat below the surface of the water; contacting the upper wall support member of the swimming pool seat with a wall of the swimming pool in a nonpermanent contact; and contacting a left lateral support and a right lateral support of the swimming pool seat with a wall of the swimming pool in a nonpermanent contact.

20. The method according to claim 19 wherein the step of securing a strap further comprises placing a pin, connected to a strap, into a pin receiver located on the swimming pool deck.

21. The method according to claim 19 further comprising the step of adjusting a strap adjustment buckle attached to the strap so as to adjust the depth of the seat.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to swimming pools and seats for use therein. More particularly the present invention relates to a moveable seat that may be positioned so as to allow the user to rest proximate to a wall of the swimming pool.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Swimming pools are popular facilities for recreation. In a residential setting, swimming pools are often placed in a backyard or patio setting that allows enjoyment of the pool and the surrounding area as an entertainment environment. It is common to use toys in the pool such as floats, balls, tubes, etc. on which a user can sometimes rest in the water. Thus, it has become an enjoyable usage of swimming pools to float in the water as well as swim and/or dive. In the backyard or back patio environment, the pool may also be the center of entertainment, or “pool party” during which refreshments are served. An individual recreating in a pool area sometimes desires that he or she be allowed to be in the water while simultaneously enjoying refreshments. Standing in the pool is one way for the individual to support himself or herself. Alternatively, the user could rest on some kind of support such as a chair or stool. Pool floats are often unstable and unsuitable as a support; and the typical backyard furniture is not suitable for use in the water. Thus, it would be desired to provide a means to support a human in or around the water while allowing the user to enjoy a refreshment or snack.

In the hotel and resort environment, swimming pools and their surroundings can take on elaborate and luxurious architecture. The swimming pool is often a central entertainment focus in the hotel and resort location. Restaurants and bars may be located proximate to the pool. In some instances it is known to place a bar or restaurant counter in or next to the pool so that the patron can sit on a permanent barstool, in the water, and enjoy a beverage or snack. This kind of architecture suffers from permanence and expense in construction. Other times a swimming pool patron may wish to sit in the swimming pool water, so as to enjoy the cooler temperature of the water, while carrying on social conversation with others outside the pool. However, very few structures allow a patron to sit or rest in the water. It would be desired to provide a convenient means of retrofitting existing pool structures so as to provide a chair-like support for pool patrons. Further, it would be desired to provide a chair-like structure that is not permanent but can be removed from the swimming pool when not in use.

In both the hotel and residential environments, outdoor furniture can allow a swimming pool patron to sit near the pool. However, to enjoy the water, the individual must move from the seat and enter the water. Then, when the individual tires of the water, he or she must exit the water, and will then often dry off, and retake the chair or seat. It would be desired to provide a swimming pool accommodation where the swimming pool patron enjoys the water and the comfort of a seat at the same time. It would also be desired that the seat be adjustable so that the individual can select where the water reaches the individual on his or her body.

Hence there has been identified a need to provide an improved seat or support in the swimming pool environment. It would be desired to provide a type of seat that could be used in both residential and commercial applications. It would further be desired to provide a swimming pool seat that, while strong and robust in structure, is nevertheless light and easily placed and removed. It is further desired that a swimming pool seat be designed so that it can be retrofit into existing swimming pool structures. The present invention addresses one or more of these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, and by way of example only, there is provided a moveable swimming pool seat for use with a swimming pool that has a pool wall and a pool deck. The moveable swimming pool seat includes: an upper wall support member; a seat support member connected to the upper wall support member; a seat connected to the seat support member; a lower wall support member connected to the seat support member; at least one strap having a first end and a second end, with the first strap end connected to the upper wall support member; and a pin connected to the second strap end.

In another aspect of the present invention, still by way of example only, there is provided a swimming pool and seat assembly for allowing a user to sit in a swimming pool that has a surface of water. The assembly includes: a swimming pool having a pool wall and a pool deck; a pin receiver positioned in the pool deck; an upper wall support member with a first end positioned proximate to the pool wall; a seat support member connected to the upper wall support member; a seat connected to the seat support member; a horizontal member connected to the seat support member; a left wall support having a first end connected to the horizontal member and a second end in contact with the pool wall; a right wall support having a first end connected to the horizontal member and a second end in contact with the pool wall; a strap having a first end and a second end, with the first strap end connected to the upper wall support member; and a pin connected to the second strap end positioned in the pin receiver. The upper wall support member, the seat support member, and the lower wall support member may each comprise tubes such as PVC tubes. The strap may also include a strap adjustment buckle by adjusting which a user can raise or lower the seat relative to the surface of the water. The seat may further comprise an upper surface having a material for receiving printing and advertising thereon.

In still a further aspect of the present invention, and still by way of example only, there is provided a method for securing and adjusting a swimming pool seat relative to a swimming pool having a side wall, a deck, and a surface of water, wherein the method comprises the steps of: (1) securing a strap connected to an upper wall support member of the swimming pool seat; (2) placing the seat in the swimming pool so as to submerge a seat connected to the swimming pool seat below the surface of the water; (3) contacting the upper wall support member of the swimming pool seat with a wall of the swimming pool in a nonpermanent contact; and (4) contacting a left lateral support and a right lateral support of the swimming pool seat with a wall of the swimming pool in a nonpermanent contact. (The numbers do not represent any necessary order of steps.) The step of securing a strap may further include the step of placing a pin, connected to a strap, into a pin receiver located on the swimming pool deck. The method can also include the step of adjusting a strap adjustment buckle attached to the strap so as to adjust the depth of the seat.

Other independent features and advantages of the moveable swimming pool seat will become apparent from the following detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a moveable swimming pool seat, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a further perspective view of a moveable swimming pool seat positioned on a swimming pool structure, according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a further perspective view of a moveable swimming pool seat showing elements of the lower wall support member, according to an embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a moveable swimming pool seat showing a swimmer/user resting on the seat, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

LIST OF REFERENCE NUMERALS

Wherever possible, the same reference numbers will be used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like parts.

    • 10 pool seat
    • 11 swimming pool
    • 12 water
    • 13 water surface
    • 14 pool wall
    • 15 pool deck
    • 16 pin receiver
    • 21 upper wall support member
    • 22 seat support member
    • 23 seat
    • 24 lower wall support member
    • 25 horizontal support
    • 26 left lateral support
    • 27 right lateral support
    • 28 strap
    • 29 strap first end
    • 30 strap second end
    • 31 pin
    • 32 strap adjustment buckle
    • 33 tube
    • 34 tube cap
    • 35 wall contact
    • 40 hub

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The following detailed description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and is not intended to limit the invention or the application and uses of the invention. Furthermore, there is no intention to be bound by any theory presented in the preceding background of the invention or the following detailed description of the invention. Reference will now be made in detail to exemplary embodiments of the invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Referring initially to FIG. 1 there is shown a preferred embodiment of a moveable swimming pool seat 10. Pool seat 10 includes as structural elements upper wall support member 21, seat support member 22, seat 23, and lower wall support member 24. As further shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, lower wall support member 24 can include as sub-elements horizontal support 25, left lateral support 26, and right lateral support 27. The moveable swimming pool seat 10 may further include strap 28 and pin 31 connected to a first end 29 of strap 28. Strap 28 is connected to upper wall support member 21 at strap second end 30.

As will be further explained, moveable swimming pool seat 10 is advantageously designed to be used with a contemporary swimming pool. Typical elements of such a swimming pool 11 are illustrated in FIG. 2. Swimming pool 11 contains water 12 in such a manner that water 11 defines a water surface 13. Swimming pool 11 also includes a pool wall 14. Such a pool wall 14 is generally vertical in arrangement, though it will be appreciated that pool walls 14 can be slightly angled from a perfect vertical alignment, and further pool wall 14 can transition through a curve or radius to other pool structures (not illustrated) such as bottoms, steps, and seats. Typical pool walls 14 are surfaced with materials such as plaster, concrete, pebbles, or other synthetics. Some swimming pools are constructed largely of synthetic materials such as fiberglass, and the pool wall 14 would thus be of such a material. The swimming pool 11 also includes a pool deck 15. Typical pool decks 15 are generally horizontal (or close to horizontal) and are designed for safe walking of the swimmers around the swimming pool 11 area. A typical pool deck 15 may be constructed from a variety of construction materials such as concrete, stone, tile, wood, or synthetic materials.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 a preferred configuration of swimming pool seat 10 is now described. Upper wall support member 21 is joined to seat support member 22 at an angle. The angle between upper wall support member 21 and seat support member 22 can vary, though somewhat under 90 degrees is acceptable. A portion of seat support member 22 supports seat 23. It is generally desired that seat 23 be positioned on seat support member 22 so that seat presents a generally horizontal surface on which a swimmer/user can sit as shown in FIG. 4. Horizontal support 25 is preferably attached to lower wall support member 24 so that horizontal support 25 extends in a generally horizontal direction, relative to water surface 13, when pool seat 10 is resting at its bottomed position, i.e., hanging at rest from strap 28. Left lateral support 26 is affixed to one end of horizontal support 25, and right lateral support 27 is affixed to an opposite end of horizontal support 25. Further, left lateral support 26 and right lateral support 27 extend from horizontal support 25 at an angle, preferably approximately a right angle. The lengths of the pieces and the associated angular interrelationship can be varied. The desire is to obtain a seat that, when resting at its bottomed position against pool wall 14, seat 23 is positioned in a generally horizontal position relative to water surface 13.

It will be appreciated that the depth at which seat 23 rests below water surface 13 can be varied by extending or shortening the length of strap 28. Thus an individual swimmer/user can adjust the swimming pool seat 10 so as to provide a sitting position that is uniquely comfortable to that user. A person may want to sit with the water at his shoulders, or at mid-chest, or at his waist; and the depth of the seat 23 can be adjusted accordingly. Thus, in a preferred embodiment it is desired to provide a strap adjustment buckle 32 with strap 28.

It is generally preferred that the pool seat 10 be fabricated of weather-resistant materials suitable for robust pool-related usage. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) materials such as PVC tubes and pipes have been found acceptable, though other materials can be used. PVC tubing has the advantage of being light weight, robust, hollow, and relatively inexpensive. Several of the various components of pool seat 10 (such as upper wall support member 21, seat support member 22, and lower wall support member 24) can be readily fabricated and assembled of PVC tubing. Thus use of a hub 40, a t-shaped piece, can be used to join lengths of PVC tubing with male to female fittings. While various portions of swimming pool seat 10 have been shown as fabricated from straight lengths of PVC pipe, it should be appreciated that other configurations are possible. For example, curved portions may be used rather than straight portions. Curved portions may present an appealing design alternative in terms of aesthetics. However, at present it is preferred to use straight portions of PVC pipe due to cost considerations.

Seat 23 can be fabricated from a variety of materials including preferably plastic or polymers. Molding procedures, such as injection molding, can be used to manufacture seat 23. Other components, such as strap 28 are preferably fabricated of a weather resistant fabric material. Pin 31 and pin receiver 16 are preferably fabricated of a weather resistant metal or alloy such as stainless steels, brass alloys, bronze alloys, and aluminum alloys.

In a preferred embodiment, the components of swimming pool seat 10 are permanently joined together. However, it is possible in other embodiments to design the components so that they can be assembled and then disassembled. Thus, for example, upper wall support member 21 could be joined into a reciprocally matched receiving portion (not illustrated) in seat support member 22, by, for example a screw fitting or pressure fitting. In a similar manner, lower wall support member 24 could be joined to seat support member 22. One advantage offered by a swimming pool seat 10 that can be disassembled is ease of storage.

Having described the swimming pool seat 10 from a structural standpoint, a preferred method of using the seat 10 will now be described. In one embodiment a pin receiver 16 is first positioned or affixed to pool deck 15. Pin receiver 16 is preferably a cylindrical structure that is a close reciprocal fit to pin 31. For example, the placement of pin 31 into pin receiver 16 is a secure, tight fit; and the fit is sufficient so as to prevent movement of strap 28 in a manner that would lower pool seat 10 in water 12. The pin receiver 16 is preferably placed in a manner flush to the surface of pool deck 15 so that a swimmer/user walking barefoot on pool deck 15 would not be injured by stepping on pin receiver 16. Where a pool deck 15 is made of a hard material such as concrete, masonry, or stone, a pin receiver 16 can be positioned by drilling a hole in the pole deck that closely matches the depth and outer diameter of pin receiver 16. Pin receiver is then placed in the hole and secured by, for example, epoxy, glue, mortar, or the like.

In other embodiments strap 28 does not include a pin 31, and there is no need for a pin receiver 16. In such an embodiment the strap first end 29 (the end which would be connected to a pin 31 if present) is affixed, as by tying off, to any suitable poolside zitem—a chair, a rock, a tree, a barbecue grill, etc. The point is that movement of strap 28, which allows pool seat 10 to fall deeper into the pool 11, can be prevented by suitably affixing strap 28 to something.

In a preferred embodiment, the various members of the moveable swimming pool seat 10 are not capped. Thus, when formed of hollow tubes that are not capped, water can flow through components such as upper wall support member 21, seat support member 22, and lower wall support member 24. Additionally, seat 23 is uncapped or has an opening so that water can flow through seat 23 in and out of seat support member. The advantage of such an arrangement is the moveable swimming pool seat can more easily be placed in the water, and removed from the water, when water can flow through its components. The swimming pool seat 10 loses buoyancy and can be positioned under the water surface 13. When a swimmer/user desires to remove seat 10 from the water 12, the user can grasp seat 10 and pull upwardly. The seat 10, allowing water to pass through, moves more easily, and the user does not have to pull the additional weight of the water to remove seat 10. This is also advantageous in that, once seat 10 is removed from the water 12, a user does not have to empty water contained in the seat 10 back into the pool 11.

However, in other embodiment, members of the swimming pool seat 10 can be capped, preferably with soft, cushioned, or resilient materials that allow swimming pool seat 10 to contact swimming pool wall 14 without damage thereto. Thus, for example, left lateral support 26 and right lateral support 27 may have end pieces or a tube cap 34 at their free, unattached, ends. The tube cap 34 comes into contact with pool wall 14 and can serve to cushion the contact between seat 10 and wall 14. It will also be appreciated that even in those embodiments where a tube cap 34 is present, the tube cap 34 may itself have an opening in it so as to allow fluid communication between the pool water 12 and the hollow interior of the swimming pool seat 10.

In addition to an end cap 34, certain embodiments of the swimming pool seat 10 may include a further feature to allow for a manner of contact with pool wall 14 that minimizes the possibility of damage thereto. Referring again to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown an upper wall support member 21 that includes a wall contact 35. In the illustrated preferred embodiment, wall contact 35 comprises a portion of upper wall support member 21 that is further angled in a way that allows an extended surface area with which wall contact 35 rests against pool wall 14. The close matching of the fit between wall contact 35 and pool wall 14 allows the surface area of contact to be maximized. A maximum surface area of contact advantageously spreads out the force that is set up between wall contact 35 and wall 14 when an individual/user places weight on pool seat 14, thereby decreasing those forces which could chip, scratch, or mar the pool wall 14. If desired, other materials such as cushioned or resilient materials can be disposed on wall contact 35 so as to protect pool wall 14.

An important feature of swimming pool seat 10, when positioned with a swimming pool 11, is that the seat 10 is moveable. Seat components such as upper wall support member 21, left lateral support 26, and right lateral support 27 are in contact with swimming pool wall 14; however, these components are not permanently affixed to wall 14. The components are actually free to adjust and move relative to pool wall 14. The connection between pin 31 and pin receiver 16 serves, via strap 28, to hold swimming pool seat 10 in a generally set bottom position relative to water surface 13. However, in the manner in which strap 28 is connected to seat 10, seat 10 is allowed the movement as described. The movement of seat 10 is both an arc-like movement in that seat 10 can sway when there is tension in strap 28. However, the freedom of movement allowed to swimming pool seat 10 is also vertical movement in that seat 10 can move upwardly relative to water surface 13 by inducing slack into strap 28.

One significance of a moveable swimming pool seat 10 relates to pool safety. Unlike structures that are permanently attached to a swimming pool 11 or swimming pool wall 14, there is little risk of a swimmer being obstructed or trapped under water by moveable swimming pool seat 10. Both the relative light weight of seat 10, and its freedom of movement, allow a swimmer to move the swimming pool seat 10 both in a lateral direction (to the right or to the left), in an upward direction, and also in an outward direction away from the pool wall 14. Thus, in a situation in which a swimmer finds himself or herself under water near the moveable swimming pool seat 10, the swimmer can gain freedom of movement by pushing the seat 10 in one of those directions. This is in contrast to those structures that are permanently moored or affixed to a swimming pool; with such a fixture the swimmer could not move a permanently attached seat, and the swimmer himself or herself would have to move his or her body to free himself from a confined underwater position. Thus, a moveable seat 10 as described herein is inherently different from and safer than permanently attached structures.

While the safety advantage is a clear distinction that differentiates the moveable swimming pool seat 10 from other structures, the mobility of the seat 10 offers an additional advantage. It is common to use a swimming pool cleaner (not illustrated) that moves along the surfaces of the swimming pool 11 to perform its cleaning function. Devices such a sweepers and underwater vacuums run along the bottom and walls of the swimming pool to remove sand, leaves, and the like from the pool. Likewise, an individual may clean the swimming pool by manually pushing a pole connected to a sweeper, brush, vacuum or other such device over the swimming pool surfaces. Such cleaning operations are obstructed and made more difficult when they encounter permanently affixed structures. However, in contrast to a permanent fixture, the moveable swimming pool seat 10 offers no significant impediment to cleaning operations. If an automatic or manual vacuum or sweeper encounters the moveable seat 10, the seat 10 gives way to the force of the cleaner. Hence, cleaning operations are simplified when a moveable swimming pool seat 10 is used instead of a permanent seat or other fixture.

While the invention has been described with reference to a preferred embodiment or embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to a particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.