Title:
Apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp comprises a drum, a tarp, a plurality of slats wherein the tarp has a plurality of pockets. The slats are slid in the pockets through entry points situated at the ends of the pockets. The slats are mechanically fastened to the drum. At least one floating end is located at the end of the tarp distal from the drum so as to avoid any tendency of the tarp from extending underwater.



Inventors:
Pelchat, Julie (Ste-Marie-De-Beauce, CA)
Application Number:
11/408487
Publication Date:
10/26/2006
Filing Date:
04/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INVENTARIUM (Montreal, QC, CA)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp comprising: a drum, a tarp, a plurality of slats; said tarp having a plurality of pockets; said slats being slid in said pockets through entry points situated at the ends of said pockets; said slats being mechanically fastened to said drum.

2. An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp as in claim 1 wherein: there is at least one floating end located at the end of said tarp distal from said drum so as to avoid any tendency of said tarp from extending underwater.

3. An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp as in claim 1 wherein: said slats are flexible.

4. An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp comprising: a drum, a tarp, a plurality of flexible slats; said tarp having a plurality of pockets; said slats being slid in said pockets through entry points situated at the ends of said pockets; said slats being mechanically fastened to said drum.

5. An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp comprising: a drum, a tarp, a plurality of flexible slats; said tarp having a plurality of pockets; said slats being slid in said pockets through entry points situated at the ends of said pockets; said slats being mechanically fastened to said drum; there is at least one floating end located at the end of said tarp distal from said drum so as to avoid any tendency of said tarp from extending underwater.

Description:

This application claims priority based on provisional application 60/672,947 filed Apr. 20, 2006

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to swimming pool accessories but more particularly to a system for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Inventors are quite creative when it comes to developing tools for rolling tarps and many methods have been developped which mostly consist in rolling a tarp around a drum.

U.S. Pat. No. 3,940,809 has a hollow air filled flexible horizontal endless plastic waterproof loop that floats on top of the water in a swimming pool and is shaped to conform with the inner periphery of the pool. The loop has an open central region. A thin flat flexible horizontal plastic waterproof sheet is disposed across the air filled loop.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,192,025 has a thermal blanket for a swimming pool consisting of a covering of flexible plastic sheet material to which are secured strips of foam-backed plastic sheet material to provide flotation and reinforcement.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,251,889 shows a swimming pool cover having a sheet of transparent, flexible, pliant plastic with an overhang of a several inches permitting folding back all edges, a foamed plastic cylinder in the fold around the pool periphery and a plurality of tubular clamps maintain the folded edge around the foamed plastic cylinder.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,259,078 discloses a swimming pool cover for covering the entire area of a water-filled pool so as to prevent egress of silt and debris into the pool during periods of non-use comprises a water-impervious sheet material configured to extend across the entire area of the pool. A securing strap is attached at spaced-apart positions near edges of the sheet material for securing the sheet material in a taut condition to pool outer portions. A resilient attachment, such as a spring, attaches the securing strap to the anchor so as to ensure the maintenance of the taut condition. A filter is attached along and near peripheral edges of the aperture and the filter has pore sizes sufficient to be impervious to silt and debris but pervious to water.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,606,749 has a swimming pool cover and roll-up device combination comprising a flexible shaft extending intermediate of the swimming pool cover from one edge to an opposite edge, with the flexible shaft being connected at least intermittently along its length to the swimming pool cover. A crank arm or other wind-up device is provided to be connected at least to one end of the flexible shaft for applying torque to the flexible shaft. The flexible shaft and swimming pool cover are adapted to float on the surface of the water, and when it is necessary to store the rolled-up swimming pool cover, it is removed completely from the swimming pool and stored remotely.

The drawback in some of the prior art is that when comes time to unroll the tarp, it may not spread easily and evenly across the surface of the pool.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing disadvantage inherent in the known devices now present in the prior art, the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to have the main advantage of having a tarp which can be rolled as well as unrolled evenly across the surface of a pool.

It is a second advantage of this invention to require faster rolling and unrolling of the tarp.

To attain these ends, the present invention generally comprises a drum, a tarp, a plurality of slats wherein the tarp has a plurality of pockets. The slats are slid in the pockets through entry points situated at the ends of the pockets. The slats are mechanically fastened to the drum.

In most embodiments, it is preferable, although not absolutely necessary, to have at least one floating end located at the end of the tarp distal from the drum so as to avoid any tendency of the tarp from extending underwater.

Preferably, the slats are rigid yet flexible so that they can be rolled along with the tarp. These slats allow for unrolling the tarp across the surface of a pool so as to provide for an even spread. Also, in some embodiments, the drum rolls the tarp in two direction simultaneously so as to speed up the rolling and unrolling process.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

Further, the purpose of the foregoing abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The abstract is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter which contains illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 Exploded perspective view of a round tarp with its components.

FIG. 2 Perspective view of a round tarp on a swimming pool.

FIG. 3 Exploded perspective view of a rectangular tarp with its components.

FIG. 4 Perspective view of a rectangular tarp on a swimming pool.

FIG. 5a Top view of a round tarp.

FIG. 5b-e Perspective view details of the tarp's components.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An apparatus for rolling and unrolling a swimming pool tarp assembly (10) to be spread across the surface of a pool (11) has a drum (12) around which a tarp (14) is rolled. In the case of the embodiment of FIGS. 1,2 and 5, the tarp (14) is round and rolled two sides at a time starting with the widest part of the tarp (14), which is situated proximal the drum (12) and finishing off with the narrowest part, which is situated distally from the drum (12). This two sides simultaneous rolling/unrolling is anticipated by U.S. Pat. No. 5,606,749 incorporated herein by reference. In order to provide for an even spread when unrolling, flexible slats (16) provide the appropriate level of rigidity to the tarp (14). Floating ends (18) are located at the narrowest part, which is situated distally from the drum (12), so as to avoid any tendency of the tarp (14) to extend under the water and get wet on its topside. The floating ends (18) are frictionally as well as adhesively attached to the tarp (14).

The slats (16) are frictionally inserted into pockets (20) during the assembly process through entry points (22) situated at the ends of the pockets. This operation can be accomplished by the user or it can also be done at the manufacturing stage. The slats (16) are mechanically fastened to the drum (12) by way of mechanical fasteners (13). A reinforcement sleeve (24) can be added to the part of the slats (16) mechanically fastened as per FIG. 5e. This adds an extra thickness and provides for a material that is more resilient than the slats (16) so that the mechanical fastening to the drum (12) can be more durable.

FIGS. 3-4 show a rectangular embodiment of the invention having the same components except that it is not rolled two sides at a time.

The slats (16) can easily be replaced since they are not permanently bonded to the tarp (14) and simply fastened mechanically to the drum (12) the tarp (14) itself is not directly attached to the drum (12) and so, by removing all of the slats (16) from the pockets (20) of the tarp (14), the tarp (14) can be removed to be replaced by a new tarp (14) if so required.

In operation, a user rotates the drum (12) in a fashion similar to that of the prior art, picks up the drum (12) with the tarp (14) rolled around it, also as is known in the art and puts it at a remote location. The reverse process is done for unrolling the tarp (14) so as to spread it across the surface of the pool (11).

As to a further discussion of the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description. Accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operation will be provided.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.