Title:
Device for supporting a pool cover
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a device for supporting a pool cover including either a singular tub or a plurality of tubs coupled to one another. The tubs are a predetermined height and diameter for providing support of the pool cover. The tubs can be attached to one another in a triangle configuration. The tubs float on the surface of the water. The number of tubs can be selected to cover a predetermined area which can be larger than the area covered by conventional air pillows.



Inventors:
Cicale Sr., John A. (Deptford, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/964154
Publication Date:
04/14/2005
Filing Date:
10/12/2004
Assignee:
CICALE JOHN A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/10; (IPC1-7): E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Diane Dunn McKay, P.A. (Princeton, NJ, US)
Claims:
1. A device for supporting a pool cover comprising: at least one tub adapted to be received on a surface of water in a pool; and connecting means for connecting said at least one tub to a surface of said pool, wherein said tub is formed of a predetermined height and width for providing support of said pool cover at a predetermined distance from said surface of water in a pool.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said tub is formed of a material to resist cracking from cold temperatures.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein said tub is formed of rubberized plastic.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein said tub is formed of a sidewall integral with a bottom wall forming a hollowing cavity within said tub.

5. The device of claim 4 wherein said device comprises: a plurality of said at least one tub; a lip formed in said sidewall of each of said plurality of tubs; at least one aperture formed in said lip; and at least one connector being received in said at least one apertures for attaching said plurality of tubs together.

6. The device of claim 1 wherein a plurality of said at least one tubs are connected to one another.

7. The device of claim 6 wherein three tubs are connected to one another in a triangular configuration.

8. The device of claim 7 wherein a first connector is inserted in a first said aperture formed in said lip of a first tub to attach to a first said aperture formed in said lip of a second tub, a second connector is inserted in a second said aperture formed in said lip of said first tub to attach to a first said aperture formed in said lip of a third tub and a third connector is inserted in a second said aperture formed in said lip of said second tub to attach to a second said aperture formed in said lip of said third tub.

9. The device of claim 6 wherein said lip of a first one of said plurality of tubs overlaps a lip of a second one of said plurality of tubs for aligning said aperture formed in said lip of said first one of said plurality of tubs to said aperture formed in said lip of said second one of said plurality of tubs and said at least one connector having a head attached to legs, wherein said head extend from said aperture formed in said lip of said first one of said plurality of tubs and said legs extends within said aperture formed in said lip of said second one of said plurality of tubs.

10. The device of claim 6 wherein said connector comprises a tie.

11. The device of claim 1 wherein said connecting means comprises a cord inserted in an aperture formed in a side surface of said tub and retaining means for preventing said cord from pulling through said aperture.

12. The device of claim 11 wherein said connecting means further comprises: coupling means for attaching said cord to said surface of said pool.

13. The device of claim 12 wherein said coupling means comprises a hook.

14. A method for supporting a pool cover comprising: placing at least one tub on a surface of water in a pool; connecting said at least one tub to a surface of said pool; and receiving a pool cover over said at least one tub, wherein said tub is formed of a predetermined height and width for providing support of said pool cover at a predetermined distance from said surface of water in a pool.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein a plurality of said at least one tubs are connected to one another.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein three tubs are connected to one another in a triangular configuration.

17. The method of claim 16 further comprising the steps of: inserting a first connector in a first said aperture formed in said lip of a first tub to attach to a first said aperture formed in said lip of a second tub; inserting a second connector in a second said aperture formed in said lip of said first tub to attach to a first said aperture formed in said lip of a third tub; and inserting a third connector in a second said aperture formed in said lip of said second tub to attach to a second said aperture formed in said lip of said third tub.

18. The method of claim 15 further comprising overlapping a lip of a first one of said plurality of tubs with a lip of a second one of said plurality of tubs for aligning an aperture formed in said lip of said first one of said plurality of tubs with an aperture formed in said lip of said second one of said plurality of tubs and inserting a connector having a head attached to legs, wherein said head extend from said aperture formed in said lip of said first one of said plurality of tubs and said legs extends within said aperture formed in said lip of said second one of said plurality of tubs.

19. The method of claim 18 wherein said connector comprises a tie.

20. The method of claim 14 wherein said connecting step comprises inserting in an aperture formed in a side surface of said tub a cord including a retaining means for preventing said cord from pulling through said aperture.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/511,476 filed Oct. 14, 2003, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference into this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

During the winter months, a pool cover is typically used to cover a swimming pool while not in use to protect the pool from leaves, dirt and any foreign matter not desired in a winterized pool. Conventionally, one or more air pillows are used to hold up the pool cover. The air pillows are formed of a rubber material filled with air. The air pillows float on the surface of the water below the pool cover for supporting the pool cover above the surface of the water. The air pillows have the disadvantage of not being durable and loosing air over time or in a worse case scenario, deflating totally. It is desirable to provide a device for supporting a pool cover providing improved support and durability.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a device for supporting a pool cover including either a singular tub or a plurality of tubs coupled to one another. The tubs are a predetermined height and diameter for providing support of the pool cover. The tubs can be attached to one another in a triangle configuration. The tubs float on the surface of the water. The number of tubs can be selected to cover a predetermined area which can be larger than the area covered by conventional air pillows. The device has the advantage of being durable and unlikely to sink.

The invention will be more fully described by reference to the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top and side view of device for supporting a pool cover in accordance with the teaching of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top and side view of the device of the present invention placed on a pool surface.

FIG. 3A is a side schematic view of a tub used in the device.

FIG. 3B is a top plan view of the tub shown in FIG. 3A.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of connector of adjacent tubs.

FIG. 5 is a side schematic view of a connector used in the device.

FIG. 6A is a side elevational view of the tub and an aperture in the side of the tub.

FIG. 6B is a side elevational view of the tub and an aperture in the side of the tub.

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a cord extending through the apertures of the tub.

FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of a retaining means used with the cord for attaching the cord to the tub.

FIG. 9A is a top and side view of the device of the present invention placed on a pool surface and coupled to the pool.

FIG. 9B is a top and side view of the device of the present invention placed on a pool surface and coupled to the pool.

FIG. 10 is a side elevational view of a coupling means attached to the pool.

FIG. 11A is a top and side elevational view of a cover placed over the device of the present invention.

FIG. 11B is a top and side elevational view of a cover placed over the device of the present invention and attached to the pool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference will now be made in greater detail to a preferred embodiment of the invention, an example of which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals will be used throughout the drawings and the description to refer to the same or like parts.

FIG. 1 is a top and side view of device for supporting a pool cover 10 in accordance with the teaching of the present invention. In this embodiment, a plurality of tubs 12 are coupled to one another using coupling means 14. For example, three tubs 12 can be attached to one another in a triangle configuration. Alternatively, one tub 12 or various numbers of tub 12 can be used in device 10. Device 10 is placed on water surface 13 of pool 11, as shown in FIG. 2.

Tub 12 is formed of a predetermined height and width for providing support of a pool cover at a predetermined distance from the water surface, as shown in FIG. 3A. Tub 12 can be formed of sidewall 100 integral with bottom wall 102 forming hollow cavity 104 within tub 12. For example, tub 12 can have a height of about 15 inches and a width of about 22 inches. Tub 12 shall include lip 15 at top surface 17 thereof. Tub 12 can be formed of a material to resist cracking during cold or freezing temperatures, for example, temperatures below 40° F. For example, tub 12 can be formed of a rubberized plastic. Tub 12 shall be formed of a cylindrical shape

A plurality of apertures 16 are formed in lip 15 around the circumference thereof, as shown in FIG. 3B. Connector 18 is inserted in one or more apertures 16 for attaching one or more of tubs 12 together. For example, apertures 16 can be about 0.5 inches in diameter and can be equally spaced around the circumference of lip 15.

For coupling tubs 12 in a triangular configuration, connector 18a can be inserted in aperture 16a of first tub 12a to attach to aperture 16b of second tub 12b, as shown in FIG. 4. Connector 18b can be inserted in aperture 16c of first tub 12a to attach to aperture 16d of the third tub 12c. Connector 18c can be inserted in aperture 16e of second tub 12b to attach to aperture 16f of third tub 12c.

Connector 18 can have a head 19 attached to legs 20,21, as shown in FIG. 5. Head 19 is slightly larger than the 0.5 inch diameter of apertures 16. Legs 20,21 can be inserted into apertures 16 of overlapping lips 15 of adjacent tubs 12. Alternatively, connector 18 can comprise a tie 22 for adjoining adjacent tubs 14, as shown in FIG. 4.

Apertures 30 can be formed in side surface 32 of tub 12, as shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B. For example, apertures 30 can be formed approximately in the top third of the height of side surface 32. Cord 34 is inserted into aperture 30, as shown in FIG. 7. Retaining means 36 is positioned at end 35 of cord 34 for preventing cord 34 from pulling through aperture 30, as shown in FIG. 8.

After placement of tubs 12 on water surface 13, cord 34 can be attached to pool 11, as shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B. Cord 34 can be attached using coupling means 38. For example, coupling means 38 can comprise of a hook, as shown in FIG. 10. Cord 34 can attach or be tied to coupling means 38. Cord 34 can be formed of nylon. Tubs 12 can be placed in the center of pool 11 roughly 120 degrees apart and coupled to pool 11 in this configuration in order to be equidistant from one another and provide maximum stabilization, as shown in FIG. 2.

After coupling of device 10 to pool 11, cover 40 can be attached over device 10, as shown in FIG. 11A. Cover 40 can be attached to pool 11 using conventional means, as shown in FIG. 11B.

It is to be understood that the above-described embodiments are illustrative of only a few of the many possible specific embodiments, which can represent applications of the principles of the invention. Numerous and varied other arrangements can be readily devised in accordance with these principles by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.