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Title:
GUTTER CLEANING SYSTEM
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/026287
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A gutter cleaning system, includes a pressure conduit extending lengthwise along a gutter and a plurality of elongate spray conduits each connected to the pressure conduit. The pressure conduit is configured for connection to a source of pressurised water. Each spray conduits extends lengthwise along the gutter and has a plurality of spray outlets arranged to spray water received from the pressure conduit to flush foreign matter from the gutter.

Inventors:
HEENAN, Christopher Michael (280 Rosebrook Road, RD 4Timaru, 7974, 7974, NZ)
HARRIS, David Leslie (3 Tavistock Place, Avonhead, Christchurch, NZ)
HEENAN, Michael David Anthony (11 Mission Lane, PapanuiChristchurch, 8053, 8053, NZ)
Application Number:
NZ2017/050102
Publication Date:
February 08, 2018
Filing Date:
July 27, 2017
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SOLUTIONS PLUS GROUP LIMITED (Unit 8, 9 Craft PlaceMiddleto, Christchurch 8024, 8024, NZ)
International Classes:
E04D13/076; B08B3/02
Domestic Patent References:
2015-08-06
2016-06-23
Foreign References:
CA2268461A11999-10-20
US20080163562A12008-07-10
US7188784B12007-03-13
US5406966A1995-04-18
GB2532530A2016-05-25
US20050045738A12005-03-03
US2887073A1959-05-19
US20040223807A12004-11-11
US20140230857A12014-08-21
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ELLIS TERRY et al. (PO Box, The TerraceWellington, 6143, 6143, NZ)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS: gutter cleaning system, including:

a pressure conduit extending lengthwise along a gutter, the pressure conduit being configured for connection to a source of pressurised fluid; and

a plurality of elongate spray conduits each connected to the pressure conduit and each extending lengthwise along the gutter, each elongate spray conduit having a plurality of spray outlets spaced along its length arranged to spray fluid received from the pressure conduit to flush foreign matter from the gutter.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pressure conduit is formed integrally with the gutter.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 2 wherein the gutter and pressure conduit are formed as an integral moulding or extrusion.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pressure conduit is a pressure pipe or hose.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 4 including a mounting arrangement configured for mounting of the pressure conduit along the length of the gutter.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 5 wherein the mounting arrangement is configured to mount the pressure conduit in or to the gutter.

7. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 6 wherein the mounting arrangement includes one or more mounting elements configured to mount to a base of the gutter and to support the pressure conduit above the base.

8. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 6 wherein the mounting arrangement includes one or more mounting elements configured to mount to a side wall of the gutter and to support the pressure conduit.

9. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 7 wherein the mounting elements are configured to mount to a moulded or extruded channel on the side wall of the gutter.

10. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 5 wherein the mounting arrangement is configured to mount the pressure conduit to the fascia of a building on which the gutter is installed.

11. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the pressure conduit has an internal diameter between 10 and 25mm.

12. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 11 wherein the pressure conduit has an internal diameter between 15 and 20mm.

A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein at least some of the spray conduits are connected to the pressure conduit at one end of their length, with the other end being closed.

14. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein at least some of the spray conduits are connected to the pressure conduit at an intermediate point along their lengths, with both ends of the spray conduit being closed.

15. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein each spray outlet is a hole, aperture, opening or nozzle.

16. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the spray outlets are spaced apart by 200 to 600 mm along the length of the spray conduits.

17. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 16 wherein the spray outlets are spaced apart by 300 to 500 mm along the length of the spray conduits.

18. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the spray outlets are oriented so as to direct spray downstream along the length of the gutter.

19. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 18 wherein the spray outlets are oriented between 20 and 70 degrees to the length of the gutter.

20. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 19 wherein the spray outlets are oriented around 30 degrees to the length of the gutter.

21. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the spray conduits have diameters around 5 to 10 mm.

22. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 21 wherein the spray conduits have diameters around 6 to 8 mm.

23. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim wherein the spray conduits have lengths around 1 to 3 metres.

24. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in any preceding claim further including one or more clips or support elements configured to support each spray conduit.

25. A gutter cleaning system as claimed in claim 24 wherein the clips or support elements attach the spray conduits to the pressure conduit.

26. A kit of parts for a gutter cleaning system, the kit including:

one or more sections of pressure conduit;

a connector for connection of the pressure conduit to a source of pressurized fluid; and

a plurality of elongate spray conduits each configured for attachment to the pressure conduit, each elongate spray conduit having a plurality of spray outlets.

Description:
GUTTER CLEANING SYSTEM

FIELD This invention relates to gutter cleaning, in particular to cleaning of gutters (also known as spouting) that receive water runoff from the rooves of buildings.

BACKGROUND Gutters (also known as spouting) are used to divert rain water from a building's roof to an appropriate drain or storm water system. Typically gutters will be positioned around a lower edge of a building's roof, on one or more sides of the building depending on the structure of the roof. The gutters are arranged to collect water running off the bottom edge of the roof and to channel the collected water to a downpipe.

Debris, including leaves, dirt and other materials, can build up in gutters. If too much debris builds up the gutter or downpipe can become blocked. Cleaning gutters or spouting manually requires a user either to access a roof or climb a ladder. This is troublesome and potentially dangerous. This tends to lead to building owners neglecting this cleaning operation.

Various measures have been proposed to address this problem. "Gutter guards" are used to prevent leaves and other material from entering the gutter. These generally consist of a mesh or grate that fits over the top of the gutter. These generally work well, but are not capable of preventing smaller debris from entering the gutter. Permanently installed flushing systems have been proposed. In each of these systems water is sprayed into the gutter in order to flush debris from the gutter.

US2887073A proposes a flushing system formed as part of the gutter during manufacture. An integrally moulded flow channel is formed in one wall of the gutter, and a series of spray apertures are formed in that conduit.

WO2015115912A proposes a flow conduit formed separately from the gutter and attached to the gutter by clips. Spray apertures are formed in the flow conduit.

US20080163562A1 proposes a manifold which distributes pressurised water through spray heads at spaced apart sites along a gutter. The Applicant has found that improvements in performance of such flushing systems are possible.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved gutter cleaning system or to at least provide the public with a useful choice.

SUMMARY

In one aspect the invention provides a gutter cleaning system, including: a pressure conduit extending lengthwise along a gutter, the pressure conduit being configured for connection to a source of pressurised fluid; and a plurality of elongate spray conduits each connected to the pressure conduit and each extending lengthwise along the gutter, each elongate spray conduit having a plurality of spray outlets spaced along its length arranged to spray fluid received from the pressure conduit to flush foreign matter from the gutter. Preferably the pressure conduit is formed integrally with the gutter.

Preferably the gutter and pressure conduit are formed as an integral moulding or extrusion.

Preferably the pressure conduit is a pressure pipe or hose.

The gutter cleaning system may include a mounting arrangement configured for mounting of the pressure conduit along the length of the gutter.

Preferably the mounting arrangement is configured to mount the pressure conduit in or to the gutter. Preferably the mounting arrangement includes one or more mounting elements configured to mount to a base of the gutter and to support the pressure conduit above the base.

Preferably the mounting arrangement includes one or more mounting elements configured to mount to a side wall of the gutter and to support the pressure conduit.

Preferably the mounting elements are configured to mount to a moulded or extruded channel on the side wall of the gutter.

Preferably the mounting arrangement is configured to mount the pressure conduit to the fascia of a building on which the gutter is installed. Preferably the pressure conduit has an internal diameter between 10 and 25mm. Preferably the pressure conduit has an internal diameter between 15 and 20mm.

Preferably at least some of the spray conduits are connected to the pressure conduit at one end of their length, with the other end being closed.

Alternatively at least some of the spray conduits are connected to the pressure conduit at an intermediate point along their lengths, with both ends of the spray conduit being closed.

Preferably each spray outlet is a hole, aperture, opening or nozzle.

Preferably the spray outlets are spaced apart by 200 to 600 mm along the length of the spray conduits. Preferably the spray outlets are spaced apart by 300 to 500 mm along the length of the spray conduits.

Preferably the spray outlets are oriented so as to direct spray downstream along the length of the gutter. Preferably the spray outlets are oriented between 20 and 70 degrees to the length of the gutter. Preferably the spray outlets are oriented around 30 degrees to the length of the gutter.

Preferably the spray conduits have diameters around 5 to 10 mm. Preferably the spray conduits have diameters around 6 to 8 mm. Preferably the spray conduits have lengths around 1 to 3 metres.

The gutter cleaning system may include one or more clips or support elements configured to support each spray conduit. Preferably the clips or support elements attach the spray conduits to the pressure conduit.

In another aspect the invention provides a kit of parts for a gutter cleaning system, the kit including: one or more sections of pressure conduit; a connector for connection of the pressure conduit to a source of pressurized fluid; and a plurality of elongate spray conduits each configured for attachment to the pressure conduit, each elongate spray conduit having a plurality of spray outlets. It is acknowledged that the terms "comprise", "comprises" and "comprising" may, under varying jurisdictions, be attributed with either an exclusive or an inclusive meaning. For the purpose of this specification, and unless otherwise noted, these terms are intended to have an inclusive meaning - i.e., they will be taken to mean an inclusion of the listed components which the use directly references, and possibly also of other non-specified components or elements.

Reference to any document in this specification does not constitute an admission that it is prior art, validly combinable with other documents or that it forms part of the common general knowledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute part of the specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description of embodiments given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention, in which: Figure 1 is a perspective view of a gutter cleaning system according to one embodiment;

Figure 2 is a further perspective view of the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a top view of the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 4 is an end view of the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 5 shows a clip used in the embodiment of Figure 1;

Figure 5A is a schematic drawing showing the orientation of the spray outlets in the embodiment of Figures 1 to 5;

Figure 6 is a perspective view of a gutter cleaning system according to a further embodiment;

Figure 7 is a further view of the embodiment of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a top view of the embodiment of Figure 6;

Figure 9 is a side view of the embodiment of Figure 6;

Figure 10 shows a clip used in the embodiment of Figure 6;

Figure 11 is a further view of the embodiment of Figure 6, with gutter guard supports installed;

Figure 12 shows a longer section of the system of Figure 6;

Figure 13 is a perspective view of a gutter cleaning system according to another embodiment;

Figure 14 is a further view of the embodiment of Figure 13; and

Figure 15 is an end view of the embodiment of Figure 13.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Figures 1 to 5A show a gutter cleaning system according to a first embodiment. The gutter cleaning system 1 is shown installed in a section of gutter 2. However, the system 1 may have any suitable length for a particular installation. Preferably the system 1 is installed along substantially the entire length of a gutter 2. Although not shown in these drawings, the gutter 2 will be closed at one end and at the other end will drain into a downpipe or similar. Generally gutters are installed with a slight downhill gradient towards the downpipe, to promote flow of water in eth desired direction. Such guttering systems are well known and need not be described in detail here. However, the Applicant's system is generally suitable, or may be adapted, for installation in many types or shapes of guttering, including guttering formed from plastic or metal. In Figures 1 to 5 the gutter 2 is of a standard profile, with one generally flat side 3 for attachment to the building (generally to the fascia beneath a lower edge of the roofing material). The gutter has a base 4 and an outer side 5. Many different gutter profiles are known, and the Applicant's invention may be adapted as necessary for the particular profile in question.

In this embodiment the cleaning system 1 is mounted to the gutter by a suitable clip 7. The clip 7 engages with a standard feature of the gutter profile, in this case a channel 8 that is positioned along the upper edge of the outer wall 5. The channel 8 provides added rigidity to the gutter.

The clip 7 has a formation 9 at one end that engages with the channel 8, as can be seen most clearly in Figure 4 and Figure 5. The end portion 10 of the formation 9 can be inserted into the opening of the channel 8 with the clip in a substantially upright position, before rotating the clip to the horizontal position shown in Figure 4.

As shown in Figure 5, the clip 7 has two open support regions 11, 12 connected by a central portion 13. Each support region is adapted to receive a conduit and to retain it. The protrusions 14, 15, together with the shape of each open support region 11, 12, act to retain each conduit once it is installed. The clip 7 may be made from a suitable metal or plastic material, which has sufficient resilience to snap-fit around the respective conduits. Figures 1 to 4 show the two conduits in place, supported by the clip 7. Although only one clip 7 is shown in these figures, several such clips will be installed along the length of the gutter.

A pressure conduit 17 is supported by the first support regions 11 of one or more clips 7. This pressure conduit runs along the length of the gutter and at one end is configured for connection to a source of pressurized water, such as a mains water supply. The pressure conduit may be connected to the source of pressurized water by any suitable connection, such as known hose fittings etc. The other end of the pressure conduit may be capped or otherwise closed. Alternatively the pressure conduit may form a closed loop with one or more connections to one or more sources of pressurized water.

The pressure conduit therefore receives pressurized water and acts to maintain water pressure along its length. Due to the structure of the spray system, described below, a substantially equal pressure is maintained along the length of the pressure conduit.

A spray conduit 18 is supported by the second support region 12. The spray conduit 18 is connected to the pressure conduit 17 at a pressure outlet 19. The pressure outlets may be moulded into the pressure conduit 19, or may be formed later by any suitable drilling or punching operation and/or optional attachment of a spray nozzle. In the embodiment shown each pressure outlet includes a sleeve sized to receive an end of the spray conduit, which may be attached to the sleeve using a suitable adhesive or any other method of attachment.

In some embodiments the connection of the spray conduit 18 to the pressure pipe 17 at pressure outlet 19 together with the support provided by clip 7 may be sufficient to support the spray conduit. However, in other embodiments further supports 21 may be provided. These supports snap fit to both pressure conduit 17 and spray conduit 18 to further support the spray conduit 18. The spray conduit may be supported by clips attaching to the pressure conduit or to the gutter, and any other suitable structure.

Each spray conduit may be closed by a cap 22 at its terminal end.

Each spray conduit 18 is an elongate conduit extending along the length of the gutter 2. However, each spray conduit will in general be shorter than the pressure conduit, with a plurality of spray conduits arranged along the length of a single pressure conduit.

Each spray conduit 18 is provided with a plurality of spray outlets 23 (not shown in Figures 1 to 5, but shown in the schematic diagram of Figure 5A) spaced along its length. Each outlet 23 may be a hole, aperture, opening or nozzle arranged to spray fluid from the spray outlet into the gutter. The spray outlets may be are spaced apart by around 200 to 600 mm, preferably around 200 to 500mm, along the length of the spray conduits.

The spray outlets 23 may be angled so as to direct spray downstream along the length of the gutter. The spray outlets 23 may be oriented between 20 and 70 degrees, preferably around 30 degrees, to the length of the gutter, as shown in the schematic diagram in Figure 5A. The pressure provided by fluid flowing from the pressure conduit into the spray conduit is sufficient to maintain pressure at each spray outlet. This is aided by the fact that each spray conduit is substantially shorter than the pressure conduit and has a smaller cross-sectional area.

Figures 6 to 12 illustrate a further embodiment in which the cleaning system is supported on the base 4 of the gutter 2. While the gutter 2 is not shown in these figures, a support unit 25 is arranged to attach to the base 4 by any suitable means, such as suitable adhesives etc. The support unit is arranged to receive a clip 26 which performs a similar function to the clip 7 described above, i.e. it supports the pressure conduit 17 and spray conduit 18 relative to the gutter 2. However, the clip 26 of this embodiment may have a different structure, as shown most clearly in Figure 10.

The clip 26 includes engagement elements 27 designed to clip into the support unit 25. These engagement elements 27 are formed on an upper half 28 of the clip 26. A lower half 29 of the clip 26 has apertures that allow the engagement elements 27 to pass through to engage with the support unit 25. The lower half 29 may be placed in position, the pressure conduit and spray conduit positioned with the pressure conduit in the first support region 30 and the spray conduit in the second support region 31, and the upper half added. When the upper half engages with the support unit 25 it also acts to secure the lower half, pressure conduit and spray conduit in position.

Other than the manner of mounting the system 1 to the gutter 2, this embodiment functions similarly to that of Figures 1 to 5. Referring to Figures 6 and 11, the support units 25 may include suitably shaped holes 32 or other features to receive gutter guard supports 33, which can act to support a gutter guard or other mesh, screen or grate that acts to prevent debris entering the gutter. In further embodiments the gutter guard supports may be formed integrally with the support units 25 or with clips 7, 26.

Figure 12 shows a longer section of the system 1. A plurality of spray conduits 18 are connected to the same pressure conduit 17. The spray conduits are spaced along the length of the pressure conduit, ideally giving a substantially uniform spacing of spray outlets along the gutter.

Figures 13 to 15 show a further embodiment in which the pressure conduit is formed integrally with the gutter 2. The pressure conduit is formed as a flow path moulded or extruded at a top portion of the inner wall 3. The spray conduits 18 are connected into the pressure conduit 17 at pressure outlets 19.

In this embodiment the spray conduit 17 is supported purely by attachment to the pressure outlet 19. Preferably this point is in the middle of the spray conduit's length. As shown in Figure 13, a cap 22 is provided at each end of the spray conduit 18. However, further clips or supports may be provided to support the spray conduit if necessary.

In preferred embodiments the conduits are formed as rigid pipes. However, hoses or other similar conduits may be used in other embodiments. In still further embodiments the system may be mounted to the building (e.g. to the fascia beneath a lower edge of the roofing material) rather than to the gutter itself. In other embodiments the system may be attached to brackets (internal or external) that are part of the gutter system. In preferred embodiments the system is arranged to spray pressurized water into the gutter. However, cleaning fluids or de-icing fluids etc may be sprayed in appropriate settings. In preferred embodiments the spray conduits may each have a length around 1 to 3 metres, preferably around 1.2 to 2 metres, ideally around 1.6 metres. The spray conduit may have a diameter around 6 to 8 mm. In commercial applications where larger guttering / spouting is sometimes used, the spray conduits may have larger diameters between 10 and 20mm, preferably around 12 to 18mm, more preferably around 15mm. In general the spray conduit may have an internal cross-sectional area that is smaller than the internal cross- sectional area of the pressure conduit.

The system may be provided as part of any new guttering system at the time of installation. The system may also be retrofitted to existing gutters. The system may further include appropriate gutter guards, or other mesh, screen or grate elements. The system may be provided in kit form, with an installer able to select an appropriate length of pressure conduit and an appropriate number of spray bars for the particular installation.

The gutter and pressure pipe may be provided as sections that can be joined end to end during installation. Suitable bend or angle fittings may be provided allowing the pressure pipe to be run around corners in the gutter. Preferably each spray conduit is provided as a single unit, however spray conduits may also be provided in sections for joining during installation.

The Applicant's invention provides a simple and robust system for gutter cleaning. The fixed, in situ nature of the system will provide user convenience over many years. The pressure conduit together with multiple spray conduits provides substantially uniform pressure at the various spray outlets. While the present invention has been illustrated by the description of the embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in detail, it is not the intention of the Applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and method, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departure from the spirit or scope of the Applicant's general inventive concept.