Title:
Above-ground swimming pool with view window
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An above ground vinyl liner pool with a viewing window is disclosed. A window piece on one side of the pool wall mates to a retainer bracket on the other side, enclosing and sealing an opening in the wall.



Inventors:
Midkiff, David (Glendale, AZ, US)
Application Number:
10/955402
Publication Date:
03/30/2006
Filing Date:
09/30/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Hartman Titus (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A window in a wall of an above-ground pool comprising: a window piece on one side of the wall compressively attached to a retainer bracket on an opposing side of the wall by connectors around the periphery of the window piece wherein the retainer bracket comprises a frame around the periphery of a window aperture in the pool wall.

2. The window of claim 1 wherein the connectors pass through the pool wall.

3. The window of claim 2 wherein the connectors are screws passing through apertures in the window piece and into screw receivers on the retainer bracket.

4. The window of claim 2 wherein the connectors are bolts passing through apertures in the window piece and apertures in the retainer bracket, and are secured by nuts.

5. The window of claim 1 further including a gasket between the window piece and the pool wall.

6. The window of claim 1 further including a gasket between the retainer bracket and the pool wall.

7. The window of claim 1 wherein the pool wall comprises a flexible plastic liner and a separate metal supporting wall, wherein compression of the window piece to the retainer bracket also compresses the liner and the supporting wall together.

8. The window of claim 7 wherein the connectors are screws passing through apertures in window piece and into screw receivers on the retainer bracket.

9. The window of claim 8 wherein the connectors are bolts passing through apertures in the window piece and apertures in the retainer bracket, and are secured by nuts.

10. The window of claim 7 further including a gasket between the window piece and the pool wall.

11. The window of claim 7 including a gasket between the retainer bracket and the pool wall.

12. The window of claim 1 wherein the window piece is made of a clear plastic.

13. The window of claim 1 wherein the window piece is made of a clear polycarbonate resin.

14. The window of claim 1 wherein the window piece is made of glass.

15. The window of claim 1 wherein the window piece and the retainer bracket are curved to approximately match a curved section of the pool wall.

16. An above-ground swimming pool having the window of claim 1.

17. An above ground swimming pool having the window of claim 3.

18. An above-ground swimming pool having the window of claim 4.

19. An above ground swimming pool having the window of claim 7.

20. A kit for adding a window to an above-ground pool comprising a window piece, a retainer bracket and a plurality of connectors, wherein the window piece includes a plurality of connector apertures around its periphery and the retainer bracket comprises a peripheral frame with connector apertures corresponding to those in the window piece.

21. The kit of claim 20 further including at least one gasket.

22. The kit of claim 20 further including a pool liner.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to the field of above-ground pools, and most preferably to vinyl or other soft-sided above-ground recreational swimming pools. It also has applicability to soft-sided above-ground pools used for other purposes, such as holding tanks for fish, amphibians, water-habitat mammals and the like.

Above-ground pools are constructed in two major ways. The first, generally referred to as soft-walled pools, or frame pools, comprise an external frame, often made of steel tubing or high-strength resins, with vertical and horizontal members defining the periphery of the pool, which may be circular, oval, rectangular, or other shapes. Various materials are known in the art, but commonly a 30 to 40 mil vinyl liner with a woven polyester support layer attaches to the top rail and contains the water.

The second type, called a hard-walled pool, has a similar frame structure but also includes a ⅛″ to ¼″ steel or aluminum wall around the periphery just inside the frame. Plastic or composite walls are also known to the industry. The vinyl liner attaches to the top rail of the frame as in the soft-sided design, but the peripheral wall supplies lateral support and stability to the liner. A thinner gauge of liner, commonly 15 to 30 mil, may be used when a supporting wall is present.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a view window for above-ground pools of all types. A window piece on one side of the pool wall mates to a retainer bracket on the other side, enclosing and sealing an opening in the wall.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a cross section of a different embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention applied to a soft-sided pool.

FIG. 4 shows an exploded view of an embodiment of the invention applied to a hard-sided pool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The components of one embodiment of the invention are shown in FIG. 1. Window piece (1) is a sheet or plate of transparent material of sufficient strength and thickness to withstand the water pressure in a pool of approximately 500 to 20,000 gallons in a typical configuration having a depth of four to six feet. A ⅜″ thickness of a clear polycarbonate resin such as the product sold as Lexan® by GE Plastics, a unit of General Electric Company, has been used with success.

Window piece (1) may be a flat plate as shown in FIG. 1, or may have a lens-like curve in cross section, as shown in FIG. 2. In another embodiment, the entire plate might curve slightly to match the curvature of the pool wall. While a round window is preferred, the shape may be rectangular, oval, or a custom shape. Dimensions of the view window may vary, but a 12″ to 18″ circular configuration works well in backyard pools.

The window piece (1) includes a plurality of apertures (2) around its peripheral rim (3) through which connecting screws (4) may be inserted. A retainer bracket (5), made of appropriate material, preferably ABS composite or another plastic, has the same shape as the periphery of window piece (1). In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2, the retainer bracket (5) is a ring matching the outer ring of the window piece (1).

Bolt receivers (6), threaded protrusions from the retainer bracket (5), are spaced around the bracket to align with apertures (2) around window piece (1). In the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2, the connecting screws (4) are 1¼ #12 tapping screws that fit into the bolt receivers (6) and the apertures (2) include a countersink indentation (7).

Instead of bolt receivers, the holding bracket may just have apertures (8) through which connecting bolts (9) may pass and be engaged by some type of nut for attachment. Cap nuts (10) with a suitable plastic cover would be a preferred embodiment. In another embodiment, threaded connectors could be integral parts of the window piece (1).

In application of various embodiments of the invention, one or more gaskets (11) will be used to seal the window piece and the holding bracket against the pool liner to prevent water leakage. Gaskets may be made of materials known in the art, including rubber, neoprene or other materials.

In a preferred embodiment for a soft-walled pool, shown in FIG. 3, there is a gasket (11) between the holding bracket (5) and the pool wall (12), and another gasket between the pool wall (12) and the window piece (1).

A standard pool liner may be adapted to the present invention by cutting a hole the approximate size of the inside diameter of the holding bracket, which will also correspond to the viewing area of the window piece (1). Pre-fabricated windowed liners could include the viewing area opening, surrounded by an integral gasket formed to mate to the window piece or the retaining bracket. If the pool is of the hard-walled type, a corresponding hole is cut in the support wall adjacent the hold in the liner. The liner and support wall are then sandwiched together between the window piece and the holding bracket, with gaskets inserted if desired. See FIG. 4.

An alternative embodiment of the invention is a kit version, comprising a window piece, holding bracket, attachment hardware and possibly one or more gaskets. The kit could be used to retrofit an existing above-ground pool with a viewing window.