Title:
Water Jet Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present water jet provides an apparatus method and system for producing water flow within a pool or spa. A pump body contains a pump assembly with an impeller for aspirating water. In one embodiment an apparatus for producing fluid flow in a pool includes a pump body, an impeller for aspirating a fluid in the pump body, a jet nozzle for directing fluid aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body and a front cover attachable to the pump body wherein the front cover includes a fluid intake structure allowing fluid ingress from outside the pump body. The fluid intake structure includes ports distal from a front cover opening for the jet nozzle. The fluid intake structure is positioned to allow fluid flow ingress substantially parallel to the fluid flow egress from the apparatus.



Inventors:
Hillyard, Jason W. (Fillmore, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/457292
Publication Date:
01/17/2008
Filing Date:
07/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAVID A WALKER (Katy, TX, US)
Claims:
1. An apparatus for producing fluid flow in a pool comprising: (a) a pump body; (b) an impeller for aspirating a fluid in the pump body; (c) a jet nozzle for directing fluid aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body; and (d) a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure for obtaining air from the pump body.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a front cover attachable to the pump body.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the pump body further comprises an air intake structure providing air to the jet nozzle holder.

4. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein an opening for the front cover is substantially in the center of the front cover.

5. (canceled)

6. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising an impeller driving device that is at least one selected from the list consisting of i) a DC Motor, and ii) an AC Motor.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the impeller further comprises at least one of: i) angled distal vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; iii) a radius of curvature less on the inside impeller vane surface than on the outside impeller vane surface; and iv) a radius of curvature for impeller vanes that decreases as distance from impeller center increases.

8. An apparatus for producing water flow within a pool comprising: (a) a pump body for holding a pump assembly; (b) an impeller for aspirating water in the pump body; (c) a jet nozzle for directing water aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body; and (d) a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure for obtaining air from the pump body.

9. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprising a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure terminating in a front part of the jet nozzle holder.

10. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the pump body further comprises an air intake structure providing air to a jet nozzle holder.

11. (canceled)

12. The apparatus of claim 8 further comprises an impeller driving device that one of i) a DC Motor and ii) an AC Motor.

13. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the jet nozzle is pivotable.

14. The apparatus of claim 8 wherein the impeller further comprises at least one of: i) angled front-side vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; iii) a radius of curvature for an inside impeller vane surface that is less than a radius of curvature for an outside impeller vane surface; and iv) a radius of curvature for impeller vanes that decreases as distance from impeller center increases.

15. An apparatus for producing water flow within a pool comprising: (a) a pump body with an air intake structure; (b) a jet nozzle holder with an air in take structure connected to the pump body air intake structure; (c) an impeller for aspirating water out of the pump body through a jet nozzle; (d) a front cover attachable to the pump body.

16. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the jet holder air intake structure terminates in a front part of the jet nozzle holder.

17. (canceled)

18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the jet nozzle is pivotable.

19. The apparatus of claim 15 further comprising an impeller driving device that is one selected of i) a DC Motor and ii) an AC Motor.

20. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the impeller further comprises at least one of: i) angled front-side vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; and iii) a radius of curvature for an inside impeller vane surface that is less than a radius of curvature for all outside impeller vane surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE DISCLOSURE

The various apparatus described relate to spas, pools, whirlpools or hot tubs and more particularly, to water propulsion devices for salons and pools directing volumes of water and/or providing water under pressure to spa jets.

BACKGROUND

The use of water propulsion devices, such as water jets, in spas or hot tubs take water, put the water under pressure and conveys the water to the various outlets or jets within a tub, pool or spa. The water under pressure creates a flow within the pool.

Many water flow systems for spas and pools have piping or other plumbing that is difficult to clean. Water may not completely drain from the system. Instead, water may remain in a damp and dark environment where bacteria may breed. This water potentially includes soap film, hair, dirt and anything other materials in the water. These materials may then mix with incoming water be expelled from the pipes when the system is reactivated. This results in a potentially unsanitary environment.

There is a need for an apparatus that efficiently moves water in and out of the pump apparatus. There is a need for a spa jet apparatus and system that provides for efficient and complete cleaning so that no water is left behind in the apparatus or system, and devices may be easily cleaned as often as desired. There is a need for an apparatus that provides for a water flow out of a device that does not conflict or interfere with water flowing into the apparatus, thereby leading to a degraded or less than optimal performance of the apparatus and water flow in the pool environment.

SUMMARY

In one embodiment a spa jet apparatus provides an apparatus method and system for producing water flow within a pool or spa. A pump body contains a pump assembly with an impeller for aspirating water. A driving device like a DC or AC monitor is connected to the impeller. A jet nozzle, which may be pivotable, directs impeller aspirated water out of the pump body. A front cover is attachable to the pump body. The front cover, which may be one or more pieces, has a water intake inlet distal from a jet nozzle front cover opening.

In one embodiment an apparatus for producing fluid flow in a pool includes a pump body, an impeller for aspirating a fluid in the pump body, a jet nozzle for directing fluid aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body and a front cover attachable to the pump body wherein the front cover includes a fluid intake structure allowing fluid ingress from outside the pump body. The fluid intake structure includes points distal from a front cover opening for the jet nozzle. The fluid intake structure is positioned to allow fluid flow ingress substantially parallel to the fluid flow egress from the apparatus.

In another embodiment an apparatus for producing water flow within a pool includes a pump body for holding a pump assembly, a pump assembly with an impeller for aspirating water in the pump body, a jet nozzle for directing water aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body and a front cover attachable to the pump body. The front cover includes a water intake ring structure with openings for acquiring water from outside the pump body, the water intake ring structure openings distal from a jet nozzle front cover opening and allowing water ingress in substantially the direction water is directed out of the pump body.

In another embodiment an apparatus for producing water flow within a pool includes a pump body with an air intake structure, a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure connected to the pump body air intake structure, an impeller for aspirating water out of the pump body through a jet nozzle and a front cover attachable to the pump body. The front cover includes a water intake structure distal from a front cover opening for the jet nozzle and allowing water ingress in substantially the direction of water egress from the pump body.

Examples of the more important features of a spa jet apparatus have been summarized (albeit rather broadly) in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and in order that the contributions they represent to the art may be appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of a spa jet apparatus that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject of the claims appended hereto.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

Objects and features of a spa jet apparatus will become apparent from the following detailed description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings disclosing embodiments herein. It should be understood, however, that the drawings are designed for the purpose of illustration only and not as a definition of the limits of a spa jet apparatus. In the drawings, wherein similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views:

FIG. 1A illustrates an embodiment of a complete assembly for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 1B illustrates a section through part for a spa jet apparatus that may be installed in a spa or pool;

FIG. 2 illustrates various components for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 3 illustrates an impeller for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 4 further illustrates various components for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 5 illustrates a front cover;

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded view with a subset of various components for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative exploded view comprising various components for a spa jet apparatus;

FIG. 8 illustrates an assembled view of an apparatus illustrated in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 illustrates a back view of an apparatus illustrated in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 illustrates a front perspective file of an apparatus illustrated in FIG. 7.

FIG. 11 illustrates a section through an apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 7.

FIG. 12A illustrates a ring section of a two piece front cover for a spa apparatus;

FIG. 12B illustrates a solid form view of a ring section of a two piece front cover for a spa apparatus;

FIG. 13A illustrates a front cover for a spa apparatus that may be used with the ring section of FIG. 12.

FIG. 13B illustrates a solid form view of front cover of FIG. 13A.

While a spa jet apparatus will be described in connection with its preferred embodiments, it will be understood that a spa jet apparatus is not limited thereto. It is intended to cover all alternatives, modifications, and equivalents which may be included within the spirit and scope of a, as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In view of the above, in one or more various aspects and/or embodiments is presented a spa jet apparatus, such as those noted below.

Turning now to the drawings, FIG. 1A illustrates an embodiment of an apparatus 100, for a spa jet apparatus. Spa jet apparatus 100 produces a flow of water by pulling water in the front cover and jetting out a nozzle. Apparatus 100 is installed or attached to the wall of bathtub or pool, and may be attached through and/or attached to a wall opening formed to fit the apparatus. Optionally, a sleeve-like receptacle or housing for apparatus 100 may be inserted in a wall or otherwise attached to a wall of a pool.

FIG. 1B illustrates a diagrammatic sectioned view an assembled embodiment, comprising a pump assembly housed in a pump body, with various parts illustrated individually in FIG. 2 through FIG. 5. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1B, a power source like a motor (not shown) serves as an example of a driving means for attaching to an impeller 9. A motor may be attached using one or more body pins 11. An impeller 9 may be driven by a motor device, for example Direct Current (DC) Motor 14 illustrated is FIG. 4. DC Motor 14 has a drive shaft 15 for attaching to impeller 9. Alternatively, an Alternating Current (AC) Motor may be used in place of DC Motor 14 or another drive source may be used.

Impeller 9, mounted with the impeller's ‘back’ (e.g., a shroud for one side of the impeller) towards the pump body opening, is attached to impeller shaft 8 adjacent to mid part 6. Impeller shaft 8 is positioned between impeller 9 and mid-part 6. Impeller 9 rotates in a chamber, or volute, formed by jet holder 4 and middle back pump 7. Water flows into the pump body through openings in front cover 13 (see FIG. 5 for water flow direction relative to front cover 13), traverses into the volute through middle back pump 7, and is aspirated by impeller 9 and moved towards jet nozzle 5. Alternatively, a front cover illustrated in FIG. 12 and FIG. 13 allows water to be pulled in around a front cover rather than through a front cover, and then into the pump body.

Jet holder 4 (or alternative jet holder 40 in FIG. 7) may be adjacent to an intake portion of front cover 13 or distal from a water intake structure for FIGS. 12-13. Jet nozzle 5 may be pivotably mounted or supported in the proximal area of jet holder 4 and jet nozzle 5 may be adjusted to direct water/air flow in desired directions. The direction of impeller rotation is selected so that impeller 9 aspirates water via a water intake structure (e.g., as provided by FIG. 5 or FIGS. 12-13) and causing water to eject through the jet nozzle 5.

FIG. 2 shows further examples of jet holder 4 and jet nozzles. As drawings of component parts are for illustration, a component part drawing may not be to scale relative to other components. FIG. 2 illustrates several components that comprise embodiments of the present spa jet apparatus. A pump body 1, which may be a housing or case for component parts of the apparatus 100, is provided. The pump body 1 is attachable to a wall of a pool or spa and may be secured to the wall a spa or pool by the back nut 2. A wall gasket 10 (FIG. 4) may be positioned between the wall of spa or pool and back nut 2. FIG. 2 also further illustrates bushing 3, mid part 6, middle back pump 7 and impeller shaft 8.

FIG. 3 schematically illustrates various views with exemplary variables for measurements of components of impeller 9. The various impeller measurements may be dependent on the size of the apparatus 100, and so no specific measurement sizes are specified herein. For example the measurement of the width from the front to back, a, is shown, and may be on the order of ten times extension distance b. Extension distance b on the back side of the impeller may be on the order of twice optional measurement c. The total radius of the impeller may be chosen as some radius x. The front side edges of the impeller vanes, directionally distal away from the impeller back or shroud, are shaped to facilitate efficient water movement toward the jet nozzle 5. For example, the impeller may have angled distal or front-side vane edges as illustrated in FIG. 3. In other words the vane edges may be angled, for example, at 30° to 60° rather than having edges substantially normal to the inside or outside vane surfaces. Additionally, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the impeller vanes may become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases. One way to affect the thickness is for a radius of curvature to be less on the inside impeller vane surface (i.e., the vane surface closest to the impeller center), y, than on the outside impeller vane surface z. Therefore, the outside impeller vane edge vertical surface may have a radius of curvature less than the inside edge surface. The radius of curvature of the impeller vanes may decrease as distance from the impeller center increases.

A cross-section A-A′ is illustrated with examples of design measurement variables. Variables include a motor drive shaft, or body pin, opening width e, opening h with depth g, radius of curvature for vane edges f, and shaft length d. A view of the impeller's back or shroud includes variables for the radius of curvature j, which may be on the order of 10% of the radius of curvature x, and the radius of curvature i, which may be on the order of ⅔ of the radius of curvature of x.

FIG. 4 further illustrates several individual components that comprise pieces applicable to a spa jet apparatus. An exemplary wall gasket 10 is illustrated, as well as a body pin 11, a ring gasket 12, and a DC Motor 14.

FIG. 5 illustrates a front cover 13 adaptable to fit with a spa jet apparatus. Front covers may comprise one contiguous piece, or as illustrated with FIGS. 2-13 may comprise more than one piece with a water intake position or structure that does not pull water in adjacent nozzle 5, and therefore water entering the device does not interfere with water exiting the nozzle 5. Front cover 13 contains a central hole to allow water flow out of jet nozzle 5. Surrounding and adjacent to the jet nozzle central hole are water input ports or openings in cover 13 to allow water to flow into apparatus 100.

Water flow is shown relative to front cover 13 by input flow direction 15 and output flow 22. The direction of input flow 13 through the input openings and the output flow 22 that proceeds out of the water jet 5 are adjacent and in opposite directions, resulting in potential and/or actual conflict resulting in degradation of water flow in both directions 15 and 22. The potential or actual conflicting water flow may be exacerbated when the pivotably mounted jet nozzle 5 has been adjusted away from a direction normal to the face of front cover 13. Front cover 13 may be designed so that inlet water ports are not adjacent to the center of the front cover, but instead are distal from the center, and so present toward the outside of the front cover 13 circumference (not shown), so that less turbulence and degradation of water flow occurs during apparatus operation.

An alternative front cover illustrated in FIGS. 12-13 may be adapted to apparatus 100 in place of front cover 13. This alternative embodiment for a front cover contains water input ports or openings 552 that are distal from jet nozzle 5 so that these water input ports or openings are not adjacent to the jet nozzle 5. Water expelled from jet nozzle 5 flows in a direction that does not interfere with water entering the apparatus. The direction of water flowing from nozzle 5 may change depending on the direction pivotably mounted jet nozzle 5 has been adjusted. Because the water input ports or openings, and therefore the input water flow is not adjacent to the jet nozzle 5, the direction of input flow 23 and output flow 22 are not in conflict, even when the pivotably mounted jet nozzle 5 has been arbitrarily adjusted. This results in more efficient flow of water both in and out of apparatus 100 than allowed by front cover 13. Because the jet nozzle 5 is not in proximity to the water inlet openings, the pump of apparatus 100 may operate more efficiently and effectively than when jet nozzle 5 is adjacent to water inlet openings.

Front cover 13 and alternative front cover of FIG. 12 and FIG. 13 are illustrated with relatively small water input inlet openings. It will be appreciated that other larger water inlet openings, for example slotted and/or angled, may be employed to facilitate engineering design and manufacturing considerations. Additionally, the water ports or openings 52 do not need to circumvent the entire perimeter. With larger water inlet openings, the front cover 13 and alternative front cover may be fitted with screening or a screening device (not shown) to impede the ingress of foreign objects into apparatus 100 that may interfere with component part operations.

While a front cover may enable directing water substantially through the center of the cover, other embodiments include directing water through a cover near an outside edge. These designs also allows for separating the input water flow from the output water flow in the vicinity of apparatus 100, thereby also reducing turbulence and facilitating water flow away from apparatus 100.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded view of an embodiment of apparatus 100 with a subset of the apparatus 100 component parts illustrated in FIG. 1 through FIG. 5, and a DC Motor 14. FIG. 6 includes pump body 1, back nut 2, impeller 9, mid-part 6, jet-holder 4, jet nozzle 5 and alternate front cover 20.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternative embodiment with an expanded view of a spa jet apparatus comprising back-nut 2, wall gasket 10, v-ring 18, pump body 70, middle back pump 7, impeller 9, bushing 3, shaft 8, mid part 6, ring 44, jet holder plug 42, jet holder 40, jet nozzle 5, water-intake ring 50, and solid front cover 60. Jet holder 40, in contrast with jet holder 4, comprises a jet holder air intake structure 43 to provide air to a part of jet holder 40. The air intake structure 43 fits together with a pump body air intake structure 72. Pump body 70 comprises a pump body air intake structure 72 and slots 76 to receive fin structures 45 of jet holder 40.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a side and front of a spa apparatus as illustrated in FIG. 7 and FIG. 9 is an alternate view of the apparatus. Parts of an air intake structure comprising a jet holder air intake structure 43 is illustrated in FIG. 8 and pump body air intake structure 72 in illustrated in FIG. 9. An air supply may be fitted to the end 72A of pump body air intake structure 72 so that air may be routed through the pump body to the jet nozzle holder 40 where the air enters the water stream prior to the nozzle 5. This allows for air to be mixed with the water stream to provide water with bubbles being expelled from jet nozzle 5 when spa jet apparatus is activated. This is further illustrated with FIG. 10 and FIG. 11 which is a view of section B-B′ through an embodiment of a spa jet apparatus.

FIG. 7 comprises an example of water intake ring structure 50 that allows for water to be pulled into a spa jet apparatus distally from nozzle 5. The water is pulled in behind front cover 60 substantially in the vicinity of the pool or spa sidewall that a jet apparatus may be mounted in, which allows the water being pulled into the pump body to avoid interfering with the water output stream exiting nozzle 5. FIG. 12A illustrates a water intake ring section of a two piece front cover for a spa apparatus. FIG. 12B illustrates a solid form view of a water intake ring section of a two piece front cover for a spa apparatus. FIG. 13A illustrates a front cover for a spa apparatus that may be used with a ring section of FIG. 12. FIG. 13B illustrates a solid form view of a front cover of FIG. 13A.

An embodiment of water intake ring structure 50 is illustrated in FIG. 12A and FIG. 12B. Openings 52 are arranged at least part way around ring structure 50, but are not required around the entire ring. An optional tab structure 54 may be provided to fit with pump body 70 or 1 with tab structure receptors 75. Optional tab structure 54 may have a length measured by an arc 51, which by of example and not limitation may be 15 to 16 degrees. Optional posts or spacers 53 with length 55 and in spacing the ring intake structure and front cover combination from the wall. Ring structure 50 may comprise an inside ring extending a selected distance 56 further than distance 59 for distance of 58. The measurements may be selected as desired to fit particular embodiments, and thus are illustrated as relative positions rather than measured distances.

A front cover 60 is illustrated with FIG. 13A and FIG. 13B that is compatible with embodiments of the water intake ring structure of FIG. 12. The cover 60 may be a solid material and may be colored or clear. The measurements may be compatible with fitting the ring structure 50 substantially inside the front cover. The radius 57 of the ring structure may substantially one half the length as the inside diameter 64 of the front cover so that the ring structure may fit snugly. The cover may be designed to accept the thickness 59 of the ring structure 50 (e.g., 59′≈59) and the optional spacers 53 may hold the ring structure and front cover combination away from the wall allowing water access to the water intake openings 52. Optional openings 66 in the front cover may be provided to allow for fasteners to secure front cover 66 to pump body 1 or 70. Openings 66 may be separated by a selected distance 65. An opening 68 to accommodate jet nozzle 5 may be substantially centered in the cover.

In one embodiment an apparatus for producing fluid flow in a pool includes a pump body, an impeller for aspirating a fluid in the pump body, a jet nozzle for directing fluid aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body and a front cover attachable to the pump body wherein the front cover includes a fluid intake structure allowing fluid ingress from outside the pump body. The fluid intake structure includes ports distal from a front cover opening for the jet nozzle. The fluid intake structure is positioned to allow fluid flow ingress substantially parallel to the fluid flow egress from the apparatus.

Another embodiment includes a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure for obtaining air from the pump body. In another embodiment the pump body includes an air intake structure providing air to a jet nozzle holder. In still another embodiment the front cover opening for the jet nozzle is substantially in the center of the front cover. In yet another embodiment the front cover includes a water intake ring structure with openings substantially around the perimeter of the front cover. In another embodiment the apparatus includes an impeller driving device that is a DC Motor or an AC Motor. In another embodiment the impeller includes at least one of: i) angled distal vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; iii) a radius of curvature less on the inside impeller vane surface than on the outside impeller vane surface; and iv) a radius of curvature for impeller vanes that decreases as distance from impeller center increases.

In another embodiment an apparatus for producing water flow within a pool includes a pump body for holding a pump assembly, a pump assembly with an impeller for aspirating water in the pump body, a jet nozzle for directing water aspirated by the impeller out of the pump body and a front cover attachable to the pump body. The front cover includes a water intake ring structure with openings for acquiring water from outside the pump body, the water intake ring structure openings distal from a jet nozzle front cover opening and allowing water ingress in substantially the direction water is directed out of the pump body.

In another embodiment a jet nozzle holder includes an air intake structure terminating in a front part of the jet nozzle holder. In another embodiment the pump body includes an air intake structure providing air to a jet nozzle holder. In yet another embodiment the water intake ring structure openings are substantially around the entire perimeter of the front cover In another embodiment an impeller driving device is included that is a DC Motor or an AC Motor. In still another embodiment the jet nozzle is pivotable. In another embodiment the impeller includes at least one of: i) angled front-side vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; iii) a radius of curvature for an inside impeller vane surface that is less than a radius of curvature for an outside impeller vane surface; and iv) a radius of curvature for impeller vanes that decreases as distance from impeller center increases.

In another embodiment an apparatus for producing water flow within a pool includes a pump body with an air intake structure, a jet nozzle holder with an air intake structure connected to the pump body air intake structure, an impeller for aspirating water out of the pump body through a jet nozzle and a front cover attachable to the pump body. The front cover includes a water intake structure distal from a front cover opening for the jet nozzle and allowing water ingress in substantially the direction of water egress from the pump body.

In another embodiment the jet holder air intake structure terminates in a front part of the jet nozzle holder. In another embodiment the water intake ring structure includes openings substantially around the perimeter of the front cover. In yet another embodiment the jet nozzle is pivotable. In still another embodiment the includes an impeller driving device that is one of a DC Motor or an AC Motor. In another embodiment the impeller includes at least one of: i) angled front-side vane edges; ii) impeller vanes that become thicker as distance from the impeller center increases; and iii) a radius of curvature for an inside impeller vane surface that is less than a radius of curvature for an outside impeller vane surface.

Accordingly while embodiments of the present spa jet apparatus have been shown and described, it is to be understood that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the spa jet apparatus as defined in the appended claims. The present spa jet apparatus described herein is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned, as well as others inherent therein. While various embodiments of the spa jet apparatus have been given for purposes of disclosure, numerous changes exist in the details of procedures for accomplishing the desired results. Various modifications will be apparent to those skilled in the art. It is intended that all variations within the scope and spirit of the appended claims be embraced by the foregoing disclosure.