Title:
Underwater vacuum cleaner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A pool vacuum unit which comprises a housing having an inlet formed in a bottom portion thereof, and an outlet formed in an upper portion of the housing with a fluid passageway extending between the inlet and outlet, a pump to pump liquid from the inlet to the outlet, an electric motor powered by at least one battery within the housing, and a base which is removably attached to the housing. The vacuum unit is suitable for smaller cleanups of the pool.



Inventors:
Bishop, Wayne (St-Lazare, CA)
Seguin, Carl (Ile Pariseau Laval, CA)
Application Number:
11/115882
Publication Date:
11/10/2005
Filing Date:
04/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/1.7, 210/416.2, 4/490
International Classes:
E04H4/16; (IPC1-7): E04H4/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRINCE JR, FREDDIE GARY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Eric Fincham (Lac Brome, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. A pool vacuum unit comprising: a housing, an inlet formed in a bottom portion of said housing, an outlet formed in an upper portion of said housing, and a fluid passageway extending between said inlet and said outlet; a pump mounted in said fluid passageway to pump a liquid from said inlet to said outlet; an electric motor operatively connected to said pump; at least one battery to power said pump; a filter mounted in said fluid passageway; and a base, said base being removably attached to said housing.

2. The pool vacuum of claim 1 wherein said base has a plurality of wheels mounted on an underside thereof.

3. The pool vacuum of claim 1 further including a pole retainer member secured to said housing, said pole retainer member including a pole receiving receptacle therein.

4. The pool vacuum of claim 1 wherein said filter has a generally conical configuration, a narrower end of said conically shaped filter being located upstream of a broader end thereof.

5. The pool vacuum of claim 1 further including a battery compartment, said battery compartment being removably mounted in said housing.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to pool cleaners and more particularly, relates to a vacuum type pool cleaner.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The problem of contamination of outdoor swimming pools is well known in the art. Thus, outdoor pools which may include residential, municipal and commercial pools must frequently remove foreign matter such as leaves, twigs, small stones, sand, insects and the like which accumulate on the bottom of the pool. Such foreign matter may be introduced into the pool by users and/or by natural elements such as wind, rain, etc. Typically, a pool must be cleaned at least once every several days in order to remove such extraneous matter.

Attempts have been made to remove such matter when it initially enters into the pool with a substantial amount of it floating on the surface of the pool. Thus, most pools utilize skimmers and the like to attempt to remove such debris. However, such skimmers are inherently not efficient enough to make a substantial difference in the amount of debris deposited on the bottom of the pool.

A variety of devices have been proposed in the prior art to clean the submerged surfaces of the swimming pools to remove the dirt, debris, algae and the like. One of the basic types is a manual pool cleaner which is connected to the intake of the skimmer by a hose which in turn is connected to a vacuum head. The pool owner must then manually guide the vacuum head over the bottom and sides of the pool utilizing a pole. The debris will then accumulate in the pool filter.

It is also known in the art to utilize pool cleaners which are of the robotic type. These robotic type cleaners are similar in that they are connected to the intake of the skimmer by a hose to a vacuum head. However, the vacuum head utilizes the vacuum created by the pool pump to propel the vacuum head around the pool in a random pattern. Although substantially less labor intensive than the manual system, the random pattern followed by the robotic head means that a substantial length of time is required to clean the pool and even then, portions are frequently missed due to the particular configuration of the pool structure or obstructions in the pool. Furthermore, the robotic type of cleaner will not function with a pool cover on which, in cooler climates, means a substantial loss of heat from the pool water.

It is also known in the art to use completely automated pool cleaners which are self propelled by electric motors and endless belt drive means and which can be preprogramed to cover the entire bottom and sidewalls of the pool. While such cleaners provide excellent results, because of their complexity of construction and operation, such cleaners are too expensive for the average residential pool.

Various portable systems have also been used. These portable systems are mounted on a wheeled vehicle and include a pump and filter cartridge which is attached to a flexible pole and then through a hollow section of tubing to a brush or molded head which is manually directed to contact the bottom and sides of the pool. Naturally, the pumps can be powered either electrically or by internal combustion means.

Frequently the cleaning of residential pools only requires “spot” cleaning in that the majority of the surfaces are relatively clean but debris has accumulated in, for example, the corners of the pool. Also, there may be the odd extraneous matter such as a twig, leaf, or the like. For such cleaning, the home owner is typically reticent to connect the various hoses and the like to remove a relatively small amount of debris.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a pool cleaner which is portable and can quickly and efficiently clean a pool or portions thereof with a minimum of set up.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a pool cleaner which is portable and does not need to be connected to the water circulation system of the pool.

According to one aspect to the present invention, there is provided a pool vacuum unit comprising a housing, an inlet formed in a bottom portion of the housing, an outlet formed in an upper portion of the housing, and a fluid passageway extending between the inlet and the outlet, a pump mounted in the fluid passageway to pump a liquid from the inlet to the outlet, an electric motor operatively connected to the pump, at least one battery to power the pump, a filter mounted in the fluid passageway, and a base, the base being removably attached to the housing.

The pool vacuum has two main components—the vacuum unit itself and a base which is removably securable to the vacuum unit. By utilizing this arrangement, the vacuum unit may be used by itself for “spot” cleaning requirements.

The housing preferably comprises a plurality of molded parts of a plastic material. Included in the parts would be a filter cover which provides ready access to the filter area for cleaning thereof.

As is conventional, the inlet for the vacuum unit will be formed in the bottom thereof. The outlet may be located in the sidewalls or top walls of the unit. Preferably, the outlet will be threaded such that a hose can be connected thereto when it is desired to discharge the fluid. Thus, the unit would be useful for removing the water from a pool cover where one does not wish to discharge the water into the pool.

The pump portion of the vacuum unit may be of any conventional design. Similarly, a conventional battery driven electrical motor may be utilized to drive the pump.

The battery or batteries are preferably mounted in a battery compartment which is secured within the housing. Thus, one would be able to rapidly access the battery compartment to change the same. This arrangement would permit the user to vacuum for longer periods of time by replacing the battery pack and recharging the spent batteries.

Preferably, the unit will also include means for being powered directly from a power source other than the batteries. Thus, one could employ a transformer to step down normal house voltage and drive the motor and pump directly.

The filter is preferably in the form of a “bag filter” with the narrower end thereof being located upstream of the broader end.

The handle portion of the pool vacuum is preferably adaptable such that it can be used as a handle when the vacuum unit is removed from the base while it will also function as the receptacle for a conventional pole as is used with many pool accessories.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Having thus generally described the invention, reference will be made to the accompanying drawings illustrating an embodiment thereof, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a vacuum according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating removal of the filter cover;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view thereof with certain portions being removed for clarity of illustration;

FIG. 4 is a side sectional view thereof; and

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view thereof.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to the drawings in greater detail and by reference characters thereto, there is illustrated a pool vacuum which is generally designated by reference numeral 10.

Pool vacuum 10 includes a base 12 and a housing 14 which encloses the various components. Housing 14 includes a first sidewall panel 16, a second sidewall panel 18, a top wall panel 20, and a bottom wall panel 26. There is also provided a filter cover 22 which includes a latch 23 to fit within an aperture 24 provided in top wall panel 20.

As maybe seen in FIG. 4, bottom wall panel 26 includes a cone shaped water inlet 28.

Enclosed within housing 14 is an electric motor 30 and which is operatively connected to an impeller 32. Surrounding the impeller 32 is a shroud 34 which has a water inlet 36 and a water outlet 38.

Secured to shroud 34 is a filter retainer 40. There is also provided a gasket 42 and a cone shaped filter 44 for filtering the water.

The pool vacuum 10 further includes a battery compartment 46 having batteries 48 enclosed therein. There is also provided, as aforementioned, a base generally designated by reference numeral 12 . Base 12 is removably attached to housing 14 such that the vacuum may be used in conjunction with base 12 or as a stand alone unit. Base 12 includes a plurality of wheels 52 for a movement along the bottom of the pool. When it is desired to use the vacuum unit as a hand held device, the vacuum may be gripped by means of recesses 35 (only one shown) formed in top wall panel 20.

There is also provided a pole retainer assembly generally designated by reference numeral 54 and which has an overall U-shaped configuration with a pair of legs 56. Pole retainer 54 includes a pole receptacle 58 having side apertures 60 which are designed to receive in a locking manner the standard pole used for most swimming pool accessories.

Formed within top wall panel 20 is an outlet 62 which preferably is a threaded aperture designed to receive a hose such as may be typically used in residences.

Thus, as may be seen in FIG. 4, the water is pumped upwardly from base 12 and exits through aperture 62 after passing through filter 44. As above mentioned, base 12 can be removed and the unit can then be utilized as a hand held unit to gripping recesses 35.

It will be understood that the above described embodiment is for purposes of illustration only and that changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.