Title:
Removable platform for pools, spas and the like
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An insertable platform for modifying the depth of a pool includes a substantially planar member having an upper surface and a lower surface; and a support member associated with the lower surface for supporting the substantially planar member at a desired spacing above a floor of the pool.



Inventors:
Dewitt, Paul (Danbury, CT, US)
Application Number:
09/774899
Publication Date:
10/25/2001
Filing Date:
01/31/2001
Assignee:
DEWITT PAUL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/495
International Classes:
E04H4/06; (IPC1-7): E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ELOSHWAY, CHARLES R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BACHMAN & LAPOINTE, P.C. (New Haven, CT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed



1. An insertable platform for modifying the depth of a pool, comprising: a substantially planar member having an upper surface and a lower surface; and a support member associated with said lower surface for supporting said substantially planar member at a desired spacing above a floor of said pool.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said upper surface comprises a wet traction enhancing material.

3. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising drainage holes positioned in said member and communicating said lower surface with said upper surface.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said planar member has a hinge structure defining at least one folding line for folding said planar member to a reduced sized planar member having reduced surface area.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising a substantially planar base member connected to said support member and adapted to rest on said floor of said pool.

6. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said support member comprises a plurality of legs extending downwardly from said lower surface.

7. The apparatus according to claim 1, further comprising securement members positioned on said support member for engaging said floor of said pool.

8. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said support member further includes a height adjusting assembly whereby spacing of said planar member from said floor of said pool can be adjusted.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application SN 60/179,154, Jan. 31, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to a platform for use in spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and the like which enables more people, including young children and others, to utilize these facilities.

[0003] Spas, jacuzzis, hot tubs and the like, which will be referred to herein collectively as pools, provide entertainment and therapy for many people in homes, vacation spots and the like. Unfortunately, these pools may contain sections, or may be in their entirety, too deep for allowing young children or others who cannot safely enter deep sections to enjoy them in a safe manner.

[0004] It is therefore the primary object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for making such pools safe for use by young children.

[0005] It is a further object of the invention to provide such a device which is easily removable such that pools can be used at their full depth when desired.

[0006] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will appear hereinbelow.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In accordance with the present invention, the foregoing objects and advantages have been readily attained.

[0008] According to the invention, a platform is provided which includes a solid top member or support surface preferably having drain holes and sized to fit the pool in question. The support surface has an upper surface which, when the platform is deployed, becomes an elevated bottom surface of the pool for walking upon by users.

[0009] The platform also preferably includes a support member for supporting the support surface at a desired height above the permanent floor of the pool, and in one embodiment, the support member can be adjustable in height. The support member contacts the actual bottom of the pool in which the device is deployed so as to support the upper surface of the platform at the desired level.

[0010] The platform may be provided with one or more hinged folding lines. In this aspect of the invention, the apparatus can advantageously be deployed over a portion of a pool if desired. Further, the hinged folding line provides a more readily storable device.

[0011] The apparatus may also be provided with securing structures, such as suction cups on a bottom surface thereof or on legs of the support member, for helping to secure the device firmly in place.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0012] A detailed description of preferred embodiments of the present invention follows, with reference to the attached drawings, wherein:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a top view of a platform in accordance with the invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the platform in accordance with the present invention;

[0015] FIG. 3 is a side view showing one embodiment for support between an upper and lower layer of the apparatus in accordance with the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a side view showing a further embodiment of the invention; and

[0017] FIG. 5 shows a height adjustable support member.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0018] The invention relates to a platform apparatus for use in various types of pools or water-filled recreation structures such as spas, Jacuzzis, hot tubs and the like which positions a raised floor member or support surface above the true bottom of the pool so that young children and others can safely use the pool.

[0019] FIG. 1 shows a top view of one platform in accordance with the invention generally referred to by the reference numeral 10. Platform 10 preferably includes an upper member 12 preferably shaped to fit the contour of the pool in which it is to be deployed. For the sake of simplicity, the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 is round. Of course, other shapes could dictate oval, octagonal and numerous other shapes.

[0020] Member 12 is preferably a substantially flat and rigid member having an upper surface 14 which is suitable for a wet walking surface. In this capacity, surface 14 may be rubberized, roughened or treated with other anti-slip materials as is well known to a person of ordinary skill in the art.

[0021] Upper member 12 is preferably also provided with one or more drain holes 16 as shown to allow for transfer of water from below member 12 to above member 12 and vice versa during positioning of apparatus 10 and also during circulation of water during use of the pool in which it is deployed.

[0022] Upper member 12 may still further be provided with one or more hinges so as to be foldable. Member 12 may in one aspect be provided with hinges defining hinged folding lines 18. Such hinges may be any suitable hinge structure which would be well known to a person of ordinary skill in the art. For example, the hinges could be one or more hardware hinge structures secured to both sections of member 12 either on the top or bottom surface. Alternatively, hinge lines 18 could be provided as scored or otherwise rendered flexible portions of the material from which member 12 is made.

[0023] Defining folding lines 18 so as to hingedly connnect one portion of member 12 with another portion of member 12 allows for compact storage and also for configuring a smaller surface area, for example to adapt only a portion of a pool to a more shallow depth.

[0024] Member 12 may also be provided with a handle 20 which can readily be used in deploying member 10 in a pool as desired, and which also facilitates transportation of same.

[0025] Member 12 may be made from any suitable material such as plastic, fiberglass, aluminum or any other material suitable for the desired environment of use.

[0026] In accordance with the invention, additional structure is provided so as to support member 12 in a position elevated with respect to a bottom of the pool in which it is to be positioned so as to thereby elevate surface 14 a desired height above the actual bottom of the pool. As set forth above, this greatly enhances the safety of pools and the like in which apparatus 10 is deployed so that these facilities can be used safely by young children and others who cannot safely use a deeper pool.

[0027] FIGS. 2 and 3 show components of one embodiment for supporting member 12 as desired. FIG. 2 shows a bottom member 22 which is also preferably shaped to fit within a pool as desired. Bottom member 22 has a lower or downwardly facing surface 24 on which may preferably be positioned one or more securement devices such as suction cups 26 and the like. Member 22 may also be provided with a hinge 24 similar to the hinge 18 as discussed in connection with member 12.

[0028] If desirable, member 22 may also be provided with drain holes to facilitate flow of water.

[0029] FIG. 3 shows a side view of apparatus 10 in accordance with the invention in a pool P and schematically illustrates top member 12 and bottom member 22 with a spacing structure 28 positioned therebetween. Spacing structure 28 may be a static structure for positioning member 12 at a fixed height above member 22 and/or floor F of pool P, or may alternatively be an adjustable structure whereby the height of member 12 can be adjusted relative to member 22 or floor F for use in adapting pools to different depth. Member 28 may suitably be a series of struts preferably positioned at an angle for providing a secure structure, and alternatively could include telescoping and locking members for use in providing the desired height adjustability. Of course, numerous other structures will occur to the person of ordinary skill in the art for use as member 28 for elevating member 12 relative to member 22.

[0030] Turning to FIGS. 4 and 5, a further alternative embodiment of the present invention is illustrated.

[0031] As shown, apparatus 10 may be provided having upper member 12 defining support surface 14, and having a support member 30 in the form of folding legs 32. Legs 32 may have struts 34 for stability and may be foldable so as to facilitate storage. Legs 32 may further be provided with securement structures 36 such as suction cups and the like, preferably at bottom ends of the legs 32 of support member 30, for further securely fixing apparatus 10 within a pool as desired.

[0032] It should be readily appreciated that in this embodiment, no planar bottom member such as member 22 (FIGS. 2 and 3) is needed.

[0033] FIG. 5 further illustrates one structure in accordance with a preferred aspect of the present invention that allows for height adjustability of apparatus 10. As shown, legs 32 of FIG. 4 can be provided having an adjustable height structure such as telescoping portions 38, 40 and a series of interlocking holes 42 on one member and an engaging button 44 on the other. Such a structure advantageously allows for height adjustability. Of course other structures could be used to provide height adjustability. Such a structure, in accordance with this aspect of the present invention, advantageously allows for apparatus 10 to be used to position surface 14 at any appropriate level within a pool, as desired.

[0034] It should readily be appreciated that the present invention provides an apparatus which is readily deployed in a wide variety of pool facilities for use in creating an artificial and removable floor which is higher than the original bottom of the pool and which thereby decreases the depth of the pool and increases the safety of individuals such as young children when using these facilities.

[0035] It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the illustrations described and shown herein, which are deemed to be merely illustrative of the best modes of carrying out the invention, and which are susceptible of modification of form, size, arrangement of parts and details of operation. The invention rather is intended to encompass all such modifications which are within its spirit and scope.