Title:
Swimming pool cover air pocket removal roller-tool AKA pool cover assistant
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The tool is “T” shaped with interior shafts upon which slightly larger tubular rollers rotate; two rollers on each side of the “T” shaft and two shorter terminal ends that are backward angled and adjustable.

Interior shafts are made of tubular BSF-GP22, ABS sections and the outer rollers are made of ABS-SANTOPREME.

The bottom of the “T” shaft is easily attached to any standard pool maintenance pole providing nearly frictionless removal of air pockets from beneath flexible pool covers designed to float flush upon the surface of pool water insuring optimum heating efficiency and avoidance of premature damage to the pool cover that may result from ultraviolet sun rays when pockets of air are allowed to remain between the bottom of the pool cover and the surface of the water.




Inventors:
Foster, Stanley E. (Titusville, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/507264
Publication Date:
02/21/2008
Filing Date:
08/21/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H4/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
EFFICIENCY INVENTIONS & PATENTS LICENSING, LLC (TITUSVILLE, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A “pool cover assistant” tool that provides a quick and easy means to effectively remove pockets of air and/or air bubbles from beneath flexible floating pool covers and may be constructed in the overall size and dimensions depicted in the drawings or be modified to be larger or smaller, depending upon unique usage requirements and size of the operator. However, the initial model depicted herein is applicable to home and small commercial pools and may be used by most any moderately able-bodied person comprising: A plurality of light weight inner tubular structures upon which slightly larger light weight tubular structures ride to create a rolling action that provides a means of effectively and nearly effortlessly removing air pockets and bubbles trapped beneath said kinds of pool covers.

2. A plurality of inner and outer connecting structures that form the top of the “T” of the “Pool Cover Assistant” tool, hold the rollers in place without protruding beyond the surface of the rollers so as to not scratch or otherwise damage the pool cover and makes it possible for the “end roller mounts” to be swiveled and held in place at whatever angle best maintains flush contact of all the rollers to the top surface of the pool cover with a minimum of friction exerted upon the pool cover surface.

3. The “Pool Cover Assistant” tool provides a quick and easy universal means of connecting the “pool cover assistant” tool to standard pool maintenance poles.

4. The “Pool Cover Assistant” tool provides a means to assure the most effective performance and longer life of flexible floating pool covers.

5. Relative to paragraph 0004, “Quick, easy, and effective” is realized through the overall effectiveness of the tool to do its intended task in relationship to the previously improvised methods including but not limited to using the backside of a pool cleaning brush to smooth the pool cover out and/or by attempting to pull, wave, or in some other way, at the risk of damaging the pool cover, manipulate the cover to avert the formation of air pockets and bubbles or remove them once formed. “Moderately able bodied person” means any person able to perform routine house, garden, and pool cleaning tasks taking into consideration that the “Pool Cover Assistant” tool is user friendly by its properties including, but not limited to its light weight, the way the rollers facilitate easy movement across the surface of the pool cover, and its design.

6. Relative to paragraph 005, “Light weight” is claimed in contrast to heavy materials including, but not limited to metal, some high density plastics, and combinations thereof. “Nearly Effortless Removal of Air Pockets” is claimed relative to the ease at which the “Pool Cover Assistant” tool captures, contains, and rolls air pockets and bubbles trapped beneath the pool cover in contrast with improvised methods listed in paragraph 0009 that is made possible by the corralling effect of the three sided shape of the top “T”, the rolling action of the rollers, and the outer surface of the SANTOPREME tubular section rollers that provides optimum traction with minimum friction

7. Relative to paragraph 0006, “a minimum of friction” is accomplished by the rolling action of the rollers Vs the action of dragging and scraping a non-rolling strait edge across the top surface of the pool cover.

8. Relative to paragraph 0007, “universal means” and “standard pool maintenance poles” refers to the most often used means of securing most pool tools to standard telescopic or fixed pool poles using a “V” spring clip.

9. Relative to paragraphs 0008 “most effective performance” is accomplished by the use of the “Pool Cover Assistant” via all the properties and mechanisms it entails and its advantages over commonly improvised methods as described herein. “Longer life of flexible floating pool covers” is accomplished by the end result of using the “Pool Cover Assistant” to remove air pockets and bubbles trapped under the pool cover because by doing so, the pool cover is less susceptible to deterioration caused by lack of even distribution of solar heat, failure of solar heat to be quickly passed to the water beneath the pool cover, and the harmful effects of ultra-violet rays.

10. It is further claimed that the “Pool Cover Assistant” in accordance with the claims of paragraphs 0008 and 0013 provides a means of averting premature deterioration of flexible air-filled quilted pool covers often described in precautionary instructions issued by most pool cover manufacturers and/or distributors that include a warning not to subject flexible air-filled quilted pool covers to sunlight when they are not being used to cover a pool.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

The primary motivation and purpose for this invention is to provide a means of quick, easy, and effective removal of air pockets, large bubbles, or groups of small bubbles from beneath flexible air-filled quilted pool covers.

The need was one that became quickly obvious after buying and using a pool cover because air pockets, large bubbles, and groups of bubbles invariably formed beneath the pool cover as it was floated across the surface of the water with its edges pressed against the walls of the pool; not only was the air trapped beneath the pool cover unsightly, but according to warning labels and directions provided by the pool cover manufacturers and distributors the cover was not to be allowed used in direct sunlight when not making contact with the pool water because damage to the pool cover would result.

Initially various methods of pulling, tugging, lifting, sliding, or by any means possible to get the pool cover to lay flush upon the water with a minimum of air pockets and bubbles remaining proved futile, even dangerous, when a person tried to do while attempting such feats. It seemed that a better way to coach the air pockets and bubbles from beneath the pool cover was to attach a pool brush to the end of a pool maintenance pole and drag it across the top surface of the cover. The technique proved to require painstaking labor, was time consuming and results were marginal with the top surface of the pool cover being roughed up in the process by using a tool that wasn't specifically designed for the task.

Finally after many unsatisfactory ways and means were attempted to accomplish the task in a quick, easy, and effective way, the idea was conceived that led to the development of the “Swimming Pool Air Pocket Removal Roller-Tool”, AKA the “Pool Cover Assistant”.

2. Description of Prior Art

After examining patents and applications relating to tools of various kinds associated with pool maintenance, no prior art was found to accomplish the task of removing air pockets and bubbles from beneath floating pool covers.

Searching patents using spec/“pool cover”+spec/roller, 68 hits resulted with none applicable to the invention; using spec “pool cover”+spec/bubbles resulted in zero hits. Searching applications using spec/“pool cover”+spec/roller, 25 hits resulted with none applicable to the invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The Swimming Pool Cover Air Pocket Removal Roller-Tool, AKA: Pool Cover Assistant is an innovative tool that when used correctly will help maintain proper usage of and preservation of flexible floating swimming pool covers by providing a solution to an apparently unaddressed means of easily and effectively removing air pockets and bubbles that invariably become trapped between the bottom surface of floating pool covers and the surface of the pool water while being installed and reinstalled.

The tool forms a “T” with its main components being rollers that ride upon a tubular core. The bottom of the “T” shaft is easily attached to any standard pool maintenance pole as is presently the case with pool brushes and vacuum devices. When the “Pool Cover Assistant” is attached to the end of a standard pool maintenance pole, removal of air pockets from beneath the pool cover is accomplished by extending the “pool cover assistant” over and beyond bubbles and then drawing the “pool cover assistant” backward to the edge of the pool where bubbles or group of bubbles dissipate into the air where the pool cover terminates against the edge of the pool walls.

The rollers provide a means of easy withdrawal with nearly no friction or ware of the pool cover surface while maintaining contact with the pool cover surface. In addition to the main “T” shaft rollers trapping the bubbles, the end rollers prevent the bubbles from escaping around the ends of the “pool cover assistant” allowing the user to guide the bubbles in whatever direction relative to the pool edge to affect their diffusion.

Routine use of the “Pool Cover Assistant” allowing the cover to rest flush upon the surface of the pool water eliminating air pockets will assure optimum pool water heating efficiency and avoidance of premature damage to the pool cover that may be caused by intensification of ultraviolet sun rays that results when pockets of air are allowed to remain between the bottom of the pool cover and the surface of the water.

The integral parts that form the “T” core, retaining and attachment devices, and rollers may be constructed of materials listed herein and/or any other materials that are relatively strong, rigid, and light in weight including but not limited to aluminum, plastic and fiber composites, and the outer surface of the rollers may employ other materials or fabrics that facilitate long ware, light weight, minimal friction, and improved traction.

The invention may be utilized in any other application that requires the rolling action of the tool including, but not limited to removing water or other liquids from floors or other surfaces if it is found that such can be done with less effort and more effectively. In such cases the materials that comprise the invention may be modified to meet specifications necessary to withstand chemical or other factors relevant to liquids to be moved or removed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Drawing #1 Simple drawing of the Pool Cover Assistant as shown from angle #1

Drawing #2 Simple drawing of the Pool Cover Assistant as shown from angle #2

Drawing #3 Simple drawing showing more detail of the top “T” portion and shaft of the “T” including the outer view of the tool-to-pool-pole attachment mechanism

Drawing #4 Simple drawing showing more detail of one of the two terminal end assembly sections including its end roller mount

Drawing #5 Simple drawing showing one of the end roller mount units before assembly to the angle piece

Drawing #6 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-1 with visual aid

Drawing #7 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-2 with visual aid

Drawing #8 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-3 with visual aid

Drawing #9 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-4 with visual aid

Drawing #10 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-5 with visual aid

Drawing #11 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-6 with visual aid

Drawing #12 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-7 with visual aid (Note: blue colored piece illustrates quality, please allow such)

Drawing #13 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-8 with visual aid (Note: blue colored piece illustrates quality, please allow such)

Drawing #14 Detailed manufacturing specification drawing: SFPC-9 with visual aid (Note: light blue colored piece illustrates quality, please allow such)