Title:
Bracket support system for pool cover box lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A lid support bracket assembly is provided for supporting a pool cover box lid that includes a wall mount, and a bracket connected to the wall mount that can be angularly adjusted relative to the wall mount.



Inventors:
Smith, Lanny R. (Alpine, UT, US)
Application Number:
10/290559
Publication Date:
05/08/2003
Filing Date:
11/08/2002
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/500, 4/502, 52/169.7
International Classes:
E04H4/10; (IPC1-7): E04H4/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rader Fishman & Grauer PLLC (South Jordan, UT, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A lid support bracket assembly for supporting a pool cover box lid comprising a wall mount, and a bracket connected to the wall mount that can be angularly adjusted relative to the wall mount.

2. A lid support system for supporting a pool cover box lid, comprising: (a) a bracket mounted in the pool cover box; (b) a lid supported on the bracket for covering the pool cover box; and (c) an element on the bracket for adjusting the position of the bracket relative to the pool cover box.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein the bracket is adjustable vertically relative to the box.

4. The system of claim 2 wherein the bracket is adjustable angularly with respect to the box.

5. The system of claim 2 and further comprising an extension on the bracket having an expanded surface for enhanced support.

6. The system of claim 2 and further comprising an element on the bracket for supporting a form for fabricating at least a portion of the lid.

7. The system of claim 2 wherein the element for adjusting the bracket comprises a bolt connecting the bracket to the wall mount and being adjustable relative to the wall mount.

8. A lid support system for supporting a pool cover box lid, comprising: (a) a plurality of brackets mounted in the pool cover box; (b) a plurality of lid sections supported by the plurality of brackets; and (c) an element on each of the brackets for adjusting the brackets relative to each other so that the lid sections have a continuous coplanar surface.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the brackets are mounted along a back wall of the pool cover box, spaced from each other and aligned substantially parallel to each other.

10. The system of claim 8 wherein the brackets are vertically adjustable.

11. The system of claim 8 wherein the brackets are angularly adjustable.

12. The system of claim 8 wherein the element for adjusting the brackets is a bracket member.

13. A method for supporting a pool cover box lid comprising mounting a wall mount on the interior of the pool box, and connecting a bracket to the wall mount that can be angularly adjusted relative to the wall mount.

14. A method for supporting a lid on a pool cover box comprising: (a) mounting a bracket in the pool cover box; (b) placing a lid on the bracket for covering the pool cover box; and (c) adjusting the position of the bracket relative to the pool cover box.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein the bracket is adjusted vertically relative to the box.

16. The method of claim 14 wherein the bracket is adjusted angularly relative to the box.

17. The method of claim 14 and further comprising connecting an extension on the bracket to provide an expanded surface for enhanced support.

18. The method of claim 14 and further comprising connecting an element on the bracket for supporting a form for fabricating at least a portion of the lid.

19. A system for supporting the lid of a box containing a mechanism for operating an automatic pool cover for a swimming pool, comprising at least one bracket mounted in the box, being disposed to support a portion of the lid, an element on the bracket for adjusting the bracket relative to the box.

20. The system of claim 19 wherein the element on the bracket is adjustable to move the bracket vertically relative to the box.

21. The system of claim 19 wherein the element on the bracket is adjustable to move the bracket at an angle relative to the box.

22. The system of claim 19 and further comprising a plurality of brackets positioned along a wall of the box to support a plurality of lid sections.

23. The system of claim 22 wherein the brackets can be adjusted relative to each other to align the plurality of lid sections to form a coplanar surface above the pool cover box.

24. The system of claim 1 wherein the bracket can be removed from the wall mount without the use of tools.

25. The system of claim 1 further comprising a t-shaped stiffener attached to the bracket.

26. A swimming pool, comprising a cover configured to cover the swimming pool and a pool cover box assembly for containing said cover, comprising: a plurality of vertical walls, including a rear wall; a lid having a rear edge, said rear edge being removably engaged with said rear wall; and a plurality of lid support bracket assemblies supporting said lid, each lid support bracket assembly comprising; a wall mount attached to said rear wall; and a bracket angularly adjustably coupled to said wall mount.

27. A pool cover box assembly for housing a swimming pool cover, comprising: a plurality of vertical walls, including a rear wall; a lid having a rear edge, said rear edge being removably engaged with said rear wall; and a plurality of lid support bracket assemblies supporting said lid, each said lid support bracket assembly comprising: a wall mount attached to said rear wall; and a bracket angularly adjustably coupled to said wall mount.

28. A lid support bracket assembly for supporting a pool cover box lid comprising: a wall mount: and a bracket angularly adjustably coupled to said wall mount.

29. A method of installing a lid support bracket assembly into a pool cover box, comprising the steps of: providing a pool cover box having a rear wall; engaging a threaded end of a bolt into a female threaded portion of a bracket; inserting the head of said bolt into a generally circular opening of a slot in a wall mount, said wall mount being attached to said rear wall; sliding said bolt in said slot, said slot narrowing thus captivating said bolt; and rotating said bracket to engage said wall mount and support pins on said wall mount.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the priority of provisional application No. 60348978, filed Nov. 8, 2001.

BACKGROUND

[0002] 1. Field of Invention

[0003] The present disclosure relates to swimming pools, and, more particularly, to an automatic pool cover box lid support bracket assembly and lid support system.

[0004] 2. Background

[0005] Swimming pools are commonly covered to prevent debris from entering the pool, to preserve chemical treatments in the water and to heat the pool in the case of a solar cover. An automatic pool cover provides convenience for a user by allowing the cover to be easily extended over the pool during periods of non-use, and retracted during periods of use. In some prior designs, a box is placed in the decking surrounding the swimming pool at a location opposite from the walk-in steps (usually at the deep end of a pool). The box extends across the width of the swimming pool and houses an electric motor and reel on which the cover is wound.

[0006] A problem with conventional automatic pool cover boxes is that the lid which covers the box is typically installed without sufficient support under the body of the lid. If a person steps on a pool cover box lid, the pool cover box lid may deform and may cause damage to the pool cover box lid or the cover in the housing.

[0007] Also, the pool cover box is often located at the front end of the pool, which is a focal point for the pool area. It may be desirable to cover over the pool cover box with aesthetically appealing material that coordinates in appearance with the pool deck and the rest of the pool surroundings. Sometimes, it may be preferred that stone, masonry or other heavy materials be used to enhance the visual effect. In such cases, a strong support is needed for the pool cover lid to support the weight of these materials.

[0008] Another shortcoming of conventional automatic pool cover boxes is that the lid does not always line up in a smooth planar fashion with the deck. It may be necessary to vertically align the pool cover box lid or to make an angular adjustment of the pool cover box lid. In prior art systems it was sometimes necessary to bend the supports to force an alignment. Such bending was difficult and did not always result in the desired effect.

[0009] What is needed in the art is an automatic pool cover box lid that is able to support substantial loads and to be easily adjusted to maximize appearance and support.

SUMMARY

[0010] The bracket support system provides an automatic pool cover box lid support bracket assembly having a lid support, vertical and angular adjustments and a wall mount assembled from modular components which may be easily connected together on-site and adjusted relative to each other to provide an optimum installation.

[0011] The disclosure comprises, in one form thereof, a lid support bracket assembly for supporting a pool cover box lid including a wall mount and a bracket adjustably coupled to the wall mount. In another implementation of the disclosure, a pool cover box assembly is provided for housing a swimming pool cover, including a plurality of vertical walls, including a rear wall, a lid having a rear edge, the rear edge being removably engaged with the rear wall and a plurality of lid support bracket assemblies supporting the lid. Each lid support bracket assembly may include a wall mount attached to the rear wall and a bracket adjustably coupled to the wall mount. The removable engagement of the bracket may be accomplished without the removal of screws or other fasteners.

[0012] The pool cover box lid support bracket provides substantial support to the pool cover lid. Furthermore, the pool cover lid support bracket provides vertical and angular adjustments to allow a pool cover box lid to be properly adjusted relative to a swimming pool deck resulting in an aesthetically pleasing look.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this disclosure, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the disclosure will be better understood by reference to the following description of an implementation of the disclosure taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

[0014] FIG. 1 is a plan view of a pool showing the location of the pool cover assembly according to the present disclosure;

[0015] FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view of one end of a swimming pool having an automatic pool cover box assembly and a support bracket according to the present disclosure;

[0016] FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of the automatic pool cover box assembly according to the present disclosure;

[0017] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a two-piece support bracket assembly implementation of the present disclosure;

[0018] FIG. 4A is a perspective view showing another version of the implementation shown in FIG. 4;

[0019] FIG. 5 is an end view of the bracket shown in FIG. 1;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a plan view of the bracket shown in FIG. 1;

[0021] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of an alternate implementation of the bracket assembly of the present disclosure having a stiffener and form tray assembly;

[0022] FIG. 8 is a side view of the bracket and stiffener shown in FIG. 7;

[0023] FIG. 9 is a frontal view of the bracket assembly shown in FIG. 7;

[0024] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the another alternate implementation of the bracket assembly of the present disclosure utilizing an expansion member.

[0025] FIG. 10A is a frontal view of the landing shown in FIG. 10.

[0026] Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The exemplification set out herein illustrates one implementation of the disclosure, in one form, and such exemplification is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the disclosure in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0027] Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIG. 1, an implementation of a rectangular swimming pool 10 is shown having a pool deck 12 and coping walls 14 surrounding the pool. An automatic pool cover 16 extends from a pool cover mechanism 18 in a cover assembly box 20 disposed at one end of the pool. A leading edge bar 22 at the front edge of the pool cover 16 rides in a track encapsulation 24 along the interior walls of the pool.

[0028] Deck 12 is generally horizontal and is preferably constructed from concrete. Coping 14 connects to deck 12 in a substantially coplanar fashion along the edge of deck 12 facing the interior of swimming pool 10. Encapsulation track 24 may include structure to retain vinyl lining, as well as fiber optic lighting along the length of coping 14 and above the level of leading edge bar 22 and cover 16.

[0029] When the pool is not in use, leading edge bar 22 pulls cover 16 from pool cover box assembly 18 across the length of swimming pool 10. To use the swimming pool 10 the cover is retracted by the pool cover assembly 18 into the cover assembly box 20 causing leading edge bar 22 to also retract into the assembly box. Leading edge bar 22 is connected to cover 16 and provides support along the leading edge of cover 16. Each end of leading edge bar 22 may be connected to at least one cable (not shown) and may further be slideably connected to the encapsulation track.

[0030] Referring now to FIGS. 2, and 3, the upper portion of the cover assembly box 20 is shown in more detail. The box 20 is preferably formed in a mechanism trough 24 extending below the surface of the deck 12. Pool cover assembly 18 lies in trough 24, extending the width of the pool. An appropriate retraction motor assembly (not shown) causes a roller member 26 of assembly 18 to rotate, thereby retracting the cover 16 over roller 26.

[0031] The lid 30 composed of suitable material, such as aluminum or masonry, extends over the cover assembly box 20 at substantially deck level. A front coping 32 extends across the top of the front wall 34 of the pool at a level below the deck 12. The vertical space between the front coping 32 and the lid 30 forms an opening 28 through which the pool cover 16 may be extended and retracted by the pool cover assembly 18.

[0032] Lid 30 is supported by multiple support bracket assemblies 36 spaced from each other across the back wall 38 of the cover assembly box 20. Preferably, the bracket assemblies 36 are adjustable to position the lid 30 evenly and flush with the deck 12. Bracket assemblies 36 are also preferably strong enough to support the lid 30, as well as persons who may walk across the lid surface.

[0033] FIG. 3 shows the pool cover assembly 18 and cover assembly box 20 in more detail. Bracket assembly 36 is mounted along the back wall 38 of assembly box 20 by a wall mount bracket 37, shown in more detail below. Roller 26 rolls up the pool cover 16 as it retracts into the assembly box through space 28.

[0034] A vertical stiffener 40 is connected to bracket 36, as will be shown in greater detail below. Lid 30 extends in sections the length of trough 24 supported by brackets 36 with stiffeners 40. Preferably lid 30 is adjustable to be vertically coplanar with the deck 12 to provide an even walking surface. The sections of lid 30 may have coupling mechanisms (not shown) to maintain the positions of the lid sections.

[0035] Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, lid support bracket assemblies 36 include a bracket 44 and wall mount 46. Bracket 44 has a generally flat load bearing portion 48 supported by vertically extending support members 50 that end in wings 51 for engaging the rear wall 38 (as shown in FIG. 3). A bolt 52 extends from a female threaded coupling 54 disposed beneath flat portion 48. The arrangement of the female threaded coupling 54 will be further illustrated below and can be seen in FIG. 5. The head 56 of bolt 52 engages an opening 58 having a narrowed slot 59 in the top part of opening 58.

[0036] When engaged, bolt 52 in bracket 44 slides upward where it is secured in slot 59. This arrangement allows lid support bracket assembly 36 to resist downward force conveyed thereto, yet be easily removed by lifting bracket 44, thus disengaging the head of bolt 56 from slot 59 of wall mount 46.

[0037] Wall mount 46 has vertical protrusions 45 to capture wings 51 of support bracket 44. Support pins 60 are provided on the center portion 47 of wall bracket 46 to support wings 51 of bracket 44. Support pins 60 on wall mount 46 are positioned to constrain the movement of bracket 44 and to transfer the vertical component of the load from bracket 44 to rear wall 38.

[0038] Slots 62 are disposed in the upper portion of side members 64. Securing holes 66 are positioned about midway vertically along side members 64. Support bracket assemblies 36 are generally positioned parallel to each other with the flat surfaces 48 being generally coplanar to support the lid properly. During installation, bolts or screws (not shown) are partially embedded through slots 62 into the rear wall 38 to mount the mounting bracket 46 on wall 38. Slots 62 enable vertical movement of the bolts or screws therein, so that the brackets can be adjusted to align vertically. Once a bracket is properly aligned, bolts or screws are inserted into securing holes 66 to secure mounting bracket relative to the back wall 38.

[0039] Bolt 52 is threadably engaged with female threaded coupling 54. The rotational position of bolt 52 is used to adjust the angle of bracket 44 to accommodate the positioning of lid 30 and provide support thereto. The head 56 of bolt 52 couples with wall mount 46 by being inserted in hole 58 and slid upwards into slot 59. The angle of bracket 44 relative to wall mount 46, and hence the angle of lid 30, is adjustable by a rotational adjustment of bolt 52. This adjustment is referred to herein as “angularly adjusting” the bracket.

[0040] Support pins 60 on wall mount 46 are provided to accommodate bracket 44 and are located to provide vertical positioning to bracket 44 such that the rear edge of lid 30 is substantially at the same height as deck 12.

[0041] FIG. 4A shows wall mount bracket 46a as an alternate to wall mount bracket 46 shown in FIG. 4. Bracket 46a includes a slot at the top center of the bracket 46 that replaces the opening 58 and slot 59 shown in FIG. 4. In this example, the bolt 52 would simply be slipped into slot 49 and adjusted to the correct level.

[0042] Now referring to FIG. 7 another implementation 70 of bracket assembly 44 of the present disclosure is shown. As in FIG. 3, a vertical stiffener 72 is mounted on a support bracket 74. The stiffener 72 adds substantial strength for supporting heavy loads. In the illustrated example, bracket 74, has a length of 10 inches and a width of 2 inches. Such brackets can adequately support loads extending between 16-26 inches from the back wall.

[0043] Stiffener 72 adds substantially length and width to the bracket 44 to make it possible to support heavier loads extending farther from the back wall. Typically, the length of the stiffener is about 16 inches and the width is about 4 inches. Moreover, stiffener 72 is formed in a T-shape to provide substantial additional strength to the brackets 74 for supporting heavy loads.

[0044] The T-shaped stiffener 72 also provides an L-shaped shelf 76 to support a concrete tray form 78 extending around the sides and back of the lid section area. A slotted track 80 is disposed on shelf 76 on facing sides of adjacent stiffeners 72, 73. A tray floor 82 is placed in the slotted track 80. A removable front wall (not shown) is placed across the front of several aligned trays and the concrete is poured. After the concrete has hardened, the removable front wall is taken away leaving room for a front facade facing the pool.

[0045] As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, side and frontal views of the bracket and stiffener structure of FIG. 7 are shown. Bracket 74 is mounted on the back wall (not shown) with stiffener 72 attached thereon. The vertical T-shape 76 adds substantial strength to the arrangement. Adjusting bolt 78 is provided, as usual, to attach to the mounting bracket (not shown) so as provide adjustments to the incline of the support bracket 74. A threaded groove 75 on the underside of bracket 74 provides a means for attaching the adjusting bolt (not shown), that is similar to the implementation shown in FIGS. 4-6.

[0046] FIG. 10 shows another implementation of the present disclosure, wherein a landing 80 is attached to bracket 74 in place of T-shaped member 76. Landing 80 has an appropriate attachment member 82 on its underside for connecting to bracket 74. No T-shape is used because there is no concrete forming tray. Rather the landing 80 is used to simply broaden the surface of support for stone, masonry and other heavy loads. Typically, the length may be extended in a manner similar to the T-shaped vertical stiffener 76.

[0047] Referring again to FIGS. 3 and 4, to install a lid support bracket assembly 36 in a pool cover box 20, wall mounts 46 are positioned along and attached to rear wall 38. Bolt 52 is threadably engaged into female threaded coupling 54 of each bracket 44. The head 56 of bolt 52 is inserted into the generally circular opening 58 below slot 59 of wall mount 46. Bolt 52, along with bracket 44, is then slid upward into a narrowed slot 59 to secure bolt 52 to wall mount 46. Bracket 44 is raised sufficiently so that it can be rotated downward to engage wall mount 46 and set upon support pins 60 of wall mount 46.

[0048] Once brackets 44 are installed, pool cover box lid 30 is assembled to cover pool cover box 20, and pool cover box lid 30 is lowered onto brackets 44. If pool cover box lid 30 is not positioned at the desired angle then pool cover box lid 30 is removed and brackets 44 are removed. Bolts 52 are adjusted and brackets 44 and pool cover box lid 30 are reinstalled as previously discussed. Thus, a change in position of bolts 52 with respect to the female threaded portion 54 (best seen in FIG. 5) results in an adjustment between a plane defined by the top portion of the bracket 36 and the backwall 38.

[0049] Bracket 44 is preferably a single integral member that can be extruded and formed in various suitable sizes and shapes of suitable materials. The methods and materials of manufacturing each of the components are well known to those of ordinary skill in the art.

[0050] While this disclosure has been described as having a preferred design, the present disclosure can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the disclosure using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this disclosure pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.