Title:
Removable panels for pool enclosures
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A removable pool enclosure panel (26) having a panel frame (10) which surrounds a predetermined material, such as screen (6) currently used in conjunction with pool enclosures, and a means for removably fastening (25) the panel frame (10) within a predetermined section (7) of a pool enclosure frame (1). The means for fastening (25) the panel (26) within a pool enclosure section (7) is preferably at least one rod (12) mounted within a spring (13) and having a finger pull ring (11) and/or at least one dowel (24) insertable into holes (23) in interconnected bars (4) or (5) of the pool enclosure (1).



Inventors:
Reiff, George R. (Bonita Springs, FL, US)
Miller, John E. (Fort Myers, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/410483
Publication Date:
11/15/2007
Filing Date:
04/25/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BUCKLE JR, JAMES J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LIVINGSTON LOEFFLER, P.A. (NAPLES, FL, US)
Claims:
Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A removable pool enclosure panel for placement within a section of a pool enclosure having interconnected bars that form the pool enclosures, said panel comprising: a plurality of rigid pieces interconnected at ends to form a closed panel frame having a shape predetermined by the section of the pool enclosure in which said frame is to be inserted; a predetermined material secured within said panel frame; and a means for fastening said panel frame to the interconnected bars that form the pool enclosure section.

2. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 1 wherein: said means for fastening said panel frame to the interconnected bars that form the pool enclosure comprises is at least one rod extending from a perimeter of the panel frame into one or more of the interconnecting bars of the pool enclosure section.

3. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 2 further comprising: a spring wrapped around said at least one rod to make said at least one rod retractable for easier insertion and removal of the panel frame within the pool enclosure section.

4. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 3 further comprising: a pull ring secured to said at least one rod to facilitate retraction of the at least one rod by a finger.

5. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 1 further comprising: at least one hole located in a bar of said pool enclosure section.

6. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 5 wherein: said at least one hole located in the bar of said pool enclosure section is sized such that said at least one rod extends into said at least one hole.

7. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 1 wherein: said means for fastening said panel frame to the interconnected bars of the pool enclosure comprises at least one dowel extending from a perimeter of the panel frame into one or more of the interconnecting bars of the pool enclosure section.

8. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 7 further comprising: at least one hole located in the bar of said pool enclosure section; and said at least one dowel extends into said at least one hole.

9. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 1 further comprising: a corner inserted in said panel frame.

10. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 9 wherein: said corner has an angle of approximately 90 degrees.

11. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 10 wherein: said corner inserted in the panel frame has a plurality of projections; and said corner inserted in the panel frame has a plurality of channels.

12. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 11 wherein: the grooves and projections mate with the grooves and projections in conventional channel used to form the pieces of the panel frame.

13. The removable pool enclosure panel of claim 9 wherein: said means for fastening extends through said corner inserted in the panel frame.

14. A removable pool enclosure panel for placement within a section of a pool enclosure having interconnected bars that form the pool enclosures, said panel comprising: four rigid pieces interconnected at ends to form a closed panel frame having a rectangular shape predetermined by the rectangular section of the pool enclosure in which said frame is to be inserted; a screen material secured within said panel frame; a means for fastening said panel frame to the interconnected bars that form the pool enclosure section; said pool enclosure section having at least one hole located therein; a screen material located within said frame; said means for fastening said panel frame to said pool enclosure section is via a rod extending through said panel frame; a spring wrapped around said rod; a pull ring secured to said rod; at least one dowel secured to said panel frame; at least two pieces attached together to form a corner inserted in a panel frame; said corner inserted in said panel frame is greater than 90 degrees; said corner inserted in said panel frame has a plurality of projections; said corner inserted in said panel frame has a plurality of channels; and said means for fastening extends through said corner inserted in a panel frame.

15. A removable pool enclosure panel for placement within a section of a pool enclosure having interconnected bars that form the pool enclosures, said panel comprising: four rigid pieces interconnected at ends to form a closed panel frame having a rectangular shape predetermined by the rectangular section of the pool enclosure in which said frame is to be inserted; a screen material secured within said panel frame; a means for fastening said panel frame to the interconnected bars that form the pool enclosure section; said pool enclosure section having at least one hole located therein; a screen material located within said panel frame; a means for fastening said panel frame to said pool enclosure section; said means for fastening said panel frame to said pool enclosure section is via a rod extending through said panel frame; a spring wrapped around said rod; a pull ring secured to said rod; at least one dowel secured to said panel frame; at least two pieces attached together to form a corner inserted in said panel frame; and said corner inserted in said panel frame is approximately 90 degrees.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to pool enclosures, commonly referred to as “pool cages”, more particularly, a panel that is removable from pool cages.

Pool cages are popular among homeowners having pools as they not only prevent bugs, animals, leaves and other undesired elements from entering the pool, but they also provide a sense of privacy for the pool-goers. In addition, they prevent children from entering or exiting the pool area without adult supervision. For these reasons and so many more, pool cages have become a common fixture with respect to pools.

Pool cages are typically constructed of vertical and horizontal metallic cage posts that form a cage frame skeleton having a plurality of square or rectangular sections. Normally, a panel made of a screen material is secured within the frame of each section to prevent elements from entering the pool area. Sometimes a panel of solid material, such as cloth or thin aluminum, might be used for privacy purposes, particularly in the lower sections of the pool cage.

However, during severe weather where excessive wind and rain occurs, such as when tropical storms and/or hurricanes pass through, the pool cages are prone to collapsing as the screens themselves act like sails to catch the wind and rain. As the wind grows stronger, the screen concaves inward more and more, either blowing out panels of the screen enclosure or eventually bending and breaking the pool cage posts and the entire cage.

Although insurance companies recommend slitting the screens prior to the arrival of a hurricane or instances in which strong winds and rain may occur, many homeowners do not do so as the winds may not be strong enough to buckle in the cage but the homeowner would still have to replace the screens.

Thus, a need exists for a removable pool cage screen.

The relevant prior art includes the following references:

Patent No.
(U.S. unless
stated otherwise)InventorIssue/Publication Date
5,426,899JonesJun. 27, 1995
4,901,484SantosuossoFeb. 20, 1990
6,138,417Woodard et al.Oct. 31, 2000
4,683,686OzdemirAug. 04, 1987
5,860,893NeerOct. 28, 1997
5,125,207Strobl, Jr. et al.Jun. 30, 1992
3,732,913WronoMay 15, 1973
3,853,166WronoDec. 10, 1974
D461,562HansenAug. 13, 2002

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool enclosure panel that permits a person to easily remove and reinstall a pool cage screen.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool enclosure panel that permits a person to quickly remove and reinstall a pool enclosure panel.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool cage screen that aids in the prevention and/or minimizing damage to pool enclosures in inclement weather.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool enclosure panel that may be retrofitted to existing pool enclosures.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool enclosure panel that may be installed in new pool enclosures.

A further object of the present invention is to provide a removable pool enclosure panel that is virtually undetectable when installed in pool enclosures.

The present invention fulfills the above and other objects by providing a removable pool enclosure panel having a frame which surrounds a predetermined material, such as screen currently used in conjunction with pool enclosures, and has means for removably fastening the frame within a predetermined section of a pool enclosure frame.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention should become even more readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawings wherein there is shown and described illustrative embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following detailed description, reference will be made to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a conventional pool cage frame having a plurality of sections;

FIG. 2 is a front view of a section of the conventional pool cage frame as depicted in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front plan view of the removable pool cage screen of the present invention as installed on a section of the conventional pool cage frame;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the means for fastening the removable pool cage screen of the present invention to a pool cage along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a top view of the means for fastening the removable pool cage screen of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side plan view of a corner insert of the removable pool cage screen of the present invention; and

FIG. 7 is a front plan view of the corner insert of the removable pool cage screen of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment, the terminology used in reference to the numbered components in the drawings is as follows:

1.pool enclosure
2.house
3.door
4.pool enclosure vertical bar
5.pool enclosure horizontal bar
6.screen
7.pool enclosure section
8.horizontal rigid piece
9.vertical rigid piece
10.panel frame
11.pull ring
12.rod
13.spring
14.corner insert
15.ridge
16.lip
17.corner block
18.hole for rod
19.horizontal corner insert leg
20.vertical corner insert leg
21.projection
22.channel
23.hole for dowel
24.dowel
25.means for fastening
26.removable pool enclosure panel, generally
27.end
28.panel frame perimeter

With reference to FIG. 1, a plan view of a conventional pool cage frame having a plurality of sections is shown. A convention pool enclosure 1 is typically attached to a house 3 and has at least one door 3 to permit access to and from the pool area. The pool enclosure 1 is constructed of a plurality of interconnecting vertical 4 and horizontal 5 pool enclosure bars to create a plurality of pool enclosure sections 7. The pool enclosure sections 7 are usually either square or rectangular in shape and have a predetermined material, such as screen 6, housed within each pool enclosure section 7. The interconnecting vertical 4 and horizontal 5 pool enclosure bars are constructed of a lightweight metal and are usually hollow with rectangular cross-sections.

In FIG. 2, a front view of a section of the conventional pool enclosure as depicted in FIG. 1 is shown. The pool enclosure vertical bar 4 is interconnected to the pool enclosure horizontal bar 5 so as to provide a pool enclosure section 7. The screen 6 is secured to the pool enclosure vertical and horizontal bars 4 and 5 so as to prevent undesired elements, such as bugs and insects, from entering the pool area.

FIG. 3 shows a front plan view of the removable panels for pool enclosures of the present invention as installed on a section of the conventional pool enclosure. The removable pool enclosure panel 26 of the present invention is predeterminedly sized so as to snugly fit within a pool enclosure section 7 and essentially replaces the screen 6 that was formerly within the pool enclosure section 7. The removable pool enclosure panel 26 includes a panel frame 10 having horizontal rigid pieces 8 which are parallel to one another and vertical rigid pieces 9 which are parallel to one another. The rigid pieces 8 and 9 are interconnected to one another at the ends 27 so as to form a closed panel frame 10 to form a panel frame perimeter 28 having a predetermined shape, preferably a square or rectangular shape, which corresponds to the predetermined shape of the pool enclosure section 7 in which the panel frame 10 is to be inserted. Located within the panel frame 10 is a predetermined material, such as screen 6. A means for fastening 25 is located on the panel frame 10 so as to removably fasten the panel frame 10 to the pool enclosure section 7. The means for fastening 25 is preferably via two pull rings 11 and two rods 12, although other fastening means, such as a dowels 24 as described below, may be used.

To install the removable pool cage screen 26 of the present invention into a pool enclosure section 7, at least one hole for a rod 18 is drilled into either the vertical cage post 4 or the horizontal cage post 5 at a predetermined location on the post 4 or 5. The location of the hole for a rod 18 should correspond to the location of the rod 12 located on the frame 10. Then, a person pulls the pull ring 11 such that the rod 12 does not extend past the frame post 8 or 9. Keeping the rod 12 in line with the frame post 8 or 9, the person then positions the frame 10 within the pool enclosure section 7 such that the frame 10 is completely located within the pool enclosure section 7. Once positioned as such, the person releases the pull ring 11, which in turn should allow the rod 12 to extend into the hole for a rod 18. In this manner, the frame 10 is now locked into the pool enclosure section 7 of the pool enclosure 1.

In addition, dowels 24 may be located on the frame 10. If such is the case, then a person positions the dowels 24 in line with the corresponding holes for dowels 23 drilled into the frame posts 8 or 9. The inclusion of dowels 24 may aid in the securement of the frame 1 within the pool enclosure section 7, although it is not necessary to use such dowels 24 for the securement of the frame 10.

Moreover, the frame 10 may include corner inserts 14, which aid in maintaining the frame 10 snugly within the pool enclosure section 7. The corner inserts 14 are preferably formed so as to be slightly larger than 90 degrees. If slightly larger than 90 degrees, the corner inserts 14 provide tension in case the pool enclosure section 7 is slightly bowed. The dowels 24 may be located within the corner inserts 14 as well.

In FIG. 4, a cross-sectional view of the means for fastening the removable pool cage screen of the present invention to a pool cage along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 is shown. The means for fastening 25 preferably includes a pull ring 11 secured to a rod 12 and a spring 13 surrounding the rod 12. The spring 13 is secured to the rod 12 and is located within the horizontal frame post 8 or the vertical frame post 9 (not shown). When the frame 10 is inserted within the pool enclosure section 7, the rod 12 extends through the horizontal frame post 8 into the hole for rod 18 in the horizontal cage post 5.

Next, FIG. 5 shows a top view of the means for fastening the removable pool cage screen of the present invention. The horizontal frame post 8, as well as the vertical frame post 9, may include a plurality of ridges 15 and lips 16. If so, a corner insert 14 may be used to add greater rigidity to the frame 10. However, the frame 10 may be planar as well.

With reference to FIG. 6, a side plan view of a corner insert of the removable pool cage screen of the present invention is shown. The corner insert 14 includes a horizontal corner insert leg 19 and a vertical corner insert leg 20. The corner insert 14 also includes a plurality of projections 21 and channels 22 that correspond to the ridges 15 in the frame posts 8 and 9. If the frame 10 is planar, then there is no need to use the corner insert 14.

Finally, FIG. 7 shows a front plan view of the corner insert of the removable pool cage screen of the present invention. The corner insert 14 is preferably constructed of a single piece of predetermined material inclusive of a corner block 17 which adds greater strength to the frame 10.

The use of the present invention will provide an easy to use device that permits an individual to quickly and easily remove one or more pool cage screens prior to the onslaught of severe weather, such as a hurricane, to prevent damage to the pool screen and pool enclosure by allowing wind and rain to blow through the pool enclosure.

It is to be understood that while a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated, it is not to be limited to the specific form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention and the invention is not be considered limited to what is shown and described in the specification and drawings.