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Title:
POOL STRAINER, COVER AND ASSOCIATED METHOD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/195591
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The pool strainer bucket (10) comprises a wall (11) extending from a base (12) to an opening (14). A cover (18) is designed to enclose the bucket. An aperture (20) in the cover allows influx of materials into the cavity. The bucket and cover are composed of a flexible material so they may be crushed and subsequently re-form, which helps manipulation, emptying, de-clogging and removal of undesirables.

Inventors:
PROVOST, Cameron (19 Mathoura Place, Orange, New South Wales 2800, 2800, AU)
PROVOST, Simon (19 Marthoura Place, Orange, New South Wales 2800, 2800, AU)
Application Number:
AU2018/050371
Publication Date:
November 01, 2018
Filing Date:
April 24, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DESC GROUP PTY LTD (c/- Adams Pluck, Suite 4 Level 3,20 George Stree, Hornsby New South Wales 2077, 2077, AU)
International Classes:
E04H4/12; B01D29/11; B01D35/05
Foreign References:
US5672271A1997-09-30
US7815797B12010-10-19
US20160023138A12016-01-28
US6007714A1999-12-28
US4823837A1989-04-25
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ADAMS PLUCK (Suite 4, Level 320 George Stree, Hornsby New South Wales 2077, 2077, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

A pool strainer bucket comprising:

at least one wall defining an interior cavity, the wall including perforations sized generally to allow water to flow there through while retaining leaf matter and debris within the interior cavity,

the wall being composed of a flexible material such that when the strainer bucket is crushed it can reform.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 1, wherein the flexible material has a hardness of between 50 and 70 durometer.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 1 or 2, wherein the flexible material has a hardness of between 55 and 65 durometer.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a base, the or each wall extending upwardly from the base to a rim.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 4, wherein the walls can be collapsed toward the base to reduce the height of the strainer bucket.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of the preceding claims further comprising a cover to enclose the interior cavity, the cover including an aperture to allow leaf matter and debris to move into the interior cavity.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 6, wherein the aperture comprises a one way valve.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 6 or 7, wherein the aperture is in the form of one or more slots through the cover.

A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of claims 6 - 8, wherein the cover and strainer bucket are integral to one another.

10. A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of claims 6 through 9, designed such that the aperture is in an open configuration when a pool pump or other pumping system is moving water into the bucket from the pool and in a closed configuration when water is not being moved into the bucket from the pool.

11. A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of the preceding claims wherein the flexible material is a polymer rubber.

12. A pool strainer bucket as defined in any one of claims 1 to 10 wherein the flexible material is an elastomer.

13. A pool strainer bucket as defined in claim 12 wherein the elastomer is

thermoplastic polyurethane.

14. A cover for a pool strainer, the cover being designed to cover an open top of a pool strainer bucket, the cover comprising an aperture configured to act as a one way valve.

15. A cover as defined in claim 14, the cover being designed such that the

aperture is in an open configuration when a pool pump or other pumping system is moving water into the bucket from the pool and in a closed configuration when water is not being moved into the bucket from the pool.

16. A cover as defined in claim 14 or 15, wherein the cover is composed of a flexible material.

17. A cover for a pool strainer as defined in claim 16 wherein the flexible

material is an elastomer or a polymer rubber.

18. A cover for a pool strainer as defined in claim 17 wherein the elastomer is thermoplastic polyurethane.

19. A cover as defined in any one of claims 16 to 18, wherein the material has a hardness of between 50 and 70 duro.

20. A cover as defined in any one of claims 14 - 19, wherein the aperture is in the form of one or more slots through the cover.

21. A method of de-clogging a pool strainer bucket having at least one wall defining an interior cavity, the wall including perforations sized generally to allow water to flow there through while retaining leaf matter and debris within the interior cavity, the wall being composed of a flexible material such that when the strainer bucket is crushed it can reform, the method including: extracting the pool strainer bucket from a pool system; crushing the pool strainer bucket so as to kill any dangerous or undesirable life forms that may be residing within;

allowing the pool strainer bucket to re-form;

removing any leaf matter and/or debris from the pool strainer bucket; and

removing any leaf matter and/or debris that is clogging the perforations.

22. A method of de-clogging a pool strainer bucket according to claim 21

wherein the pool strainer bucket includes at least one handle and wherein the pool strainer bucket is extracted from the pool system by threading an elongate member through the handle and using the elongate member to pull the pool strainer bucket out of the pool system.

23. A method of de-clogging a pool strainer bucket according to claim 21 or 22 wherein removal of leaf matter and/or debris from the perforations includes impacting the pool strainer bucket against a solid object.

24. A method of de-clogging a pool strainer bucket according to any one of claims 21 to 23 wherein removal of leaf matter and/or debris from the perforations includes turning the pool strainer bucket inside out.

Description:
POOL STRAINER, COVER AND ASSOCIATED METHOD

TECHNICAL FIELD

The disclosure relates to a pool strainer such as a strainer bucket for use in a pool filtration system. BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

Most swimming pools have circulation and filtration systems, one component of which is known as a "skimmer." Water is drawn through the skimmer by a vacuum pump and returns to the pool in a cycle, A skimmer well is a receptacle located external to the pool and slightly below the surface level of the pool. An opening into the skimmer well extends above and below the surface level of the pool .

At the bottom of the skimmer well is an orifice through which water in the skimmer well is drawn by a vacuum pump, which water is returned to the pool in an endless cycle. Leaves, debris and other items floating on top of the water are drawn into the skimmer well by the flow of water into the skimmer. A highly perforated strainer bucket or basket is sized and shaped to sit within the skimmer well and serves as a strainer to trap leaves, debris, or other items which flow into the skimmer.

When the strainer bucket is filled, it must be removed for emptying and cleaning. This step can be difficult and can be unpleasant or dangerous. Moreover, once the vacuum pump is shut down, debris and leaves can escape the bucket.

Generally speaking the strainer buckets are replaceable and composed of plastic or a similar inexpensive material .

It is to be understood that a reference to the background and prior art does not constitute an admission that the background and prior art forms a part of the common general knowledge in the art, in Australia or any other country. SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Disclosed is a pool strainer bucket comprising; at least one wall defining an interior cavity, the wail including perforations sized generally to allow water to flow there through while retaining leaf matter and debris within the interior cavity, the wall being composed of a flexible material such that when the strainer bucket is crushed it can reform.

Further, disclosed is a pool strainer bucket comprising a cover to enclose the interior cavity, the cover including an aperture to allow leaf matter and debris to move into the interior cavity. In some forms the aperture comprises a one way- valve.

Further disclosed is a cover for a pool strainer, the cover being designed to cover an open top of a pool strainer bucket, the cover comprising an aperture configured to act as a one way valve.

Further disclosed is a method of de-clogging a pool strainer as described above, the method including: extracting the pool strainer bucket from a pool system; crushing the pool strainer bucket so as to kill any dangerous or undesirable life forms that may be residing within, allowing the pool strainer bucket to re-form; removing any leaf matter and/or debris from the pool strainer bucket; and removing any leaf matter and/or debris that is clogging the perforations. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Non-limiting embodiments will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a strainer bucket of one embodiment of the disclosure,

Fig 2 is a side view of the strainer bucket of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a closure for one embodiment of the disclosure;

Fig. 4 is a perspective view of a strainer bucket of one embodiment of the disclosure, Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the strainer bucket of Fig. 4 in collapsed configuration;

Fig. 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the strainer bucket of Fig. 4 in use,

Fig. 7 is a perspective view of a strainer bucket of one embodiment of the disclosure; Fig. 8 is a side view of the strainer bucket of Fig. 7;

Fig. 9 is a side cross-sectional view of the strainer bucket of Fig. 7 in use; Fig. 10 is a plan view of one embodiment of a cover for a pool strainer, Fig. 1 1 is a side view of the cover of Fig, 10;

Fig. 12 is a front cross-sectional view of the cover taken through line A-A of fig. 1 1 ;

Fig. 13 is a plan view of another embodiment of a cover for a pool strainer, Fig. 14 is a side view of the cover of Fig. 13;

Fig. 15 is a front cross-sectional view of the cover taken through line B-B of fig, 14,

Fig. 16 is a plan view of a left hand half of a strainer bucket of another embodiment of the disclosure; Fig. 17 is a side view of the left hand half of the strainer bucket of fig. 16;

Fig. 18 is a front view of the left hand half of the strainer bucket of fig. 6; and

Fig. 19 is a perspective view of the left hand half of the strainer bucket of fig. 16 depicted alongside the corresponding right hand half.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed is a pool strainer bucket comprising at least one wall defining an interior cavity, the wail including perforations sized generally to allow water to flow there through while retaining leaf matter and debris within the interior cavity, the wall being composed of a flexible material such that when the strainer bucket is crushed it can reform.

In some forms the flexible material has a hardness of between 50 and 70 durometer. In other forms the flexible material has a hardness of between 55 and 65 durometer.

In some forms the bucket further comprises a base, the or each wall extending upwardly from the base to a rim. In some forms the wails can be collapsed toward the base to reduce the height of the strainer bucket.

In some forms the bucket further comprises a cover to enclose the interior cavity, the cover including an aperture to allow leaf matter and debris to move into the interior cavity. However, it will be appreciated that in some embodiments the bucket may be used without a cover. Additionally, if desired, the cover may be used with the prior art rigid buckets.

In some forms the aperture comprises a one way valve. In some forms the aperture is in the form of one or more slots through the cover. In some forms the cover and strainer bucket are integral to one another.

In some fonns the aperture is in an open configuration when a pool pump or other pumping system is moving water into the bucket from the pool and in a closed configuration when water is not being moved into the bucket from the pool .

In some forms the cover is designed to cover an open top of a pool strainer bucket, the cover comprises an aperture configured to act as a one way valve.

In some forms the cover is composed of a flexible material.

The pool strainer bucket is flexible to allow for ease of transportation, ease of return to the skimmer well , ease of removal and removal of debris from the bucket and durability and life span. The cover acts to enclose the bucket so that leaves and debris do not float out of the pool strainer. The cover includes an aperture that allows ingress of leaves and debris but is biased back into a closed position and moves back to that position when the pump is not acting to resist removal of debris.

Referring to Figs I and 2, disclosed is a pool strainer bucket 10 for use in a pool strainer system such as, for example, in a skimmer well. The pool strainer bucket 10 comprises at least one wall 11, in this case in the form of a substantially cylindrical wall, extending upwardly from a base 12. The wail 11 extends upwardly from the base 12 to a rim 13 which defines an opening 14 to an interior cavity 15. The interior cavity 15 is substantially defined by the base 12 and the wall 11. In the illustrated form, the pool strainer bucket 10 further comprises a cover 18 which is designed to close about the rim 13 to cover the opening 14 and enclose the interior cavity 15,

In figures 1 and 2, the cover 18 is attached with and extends from an upper portion of the wall 11. A web 19 extends between the wall 11 and the cover 18 to hingedly attach the cover 18 with the strainer bucket body 10.

The cover 18 includes an aperture 20 extending there through to allow influx of leaves and debris into the interior cavity 15 of the bucket 10. The aperture is in the form of a single break or slot extending across a section of the diameter of the cover 18 and having a generally elongate shape.

The pool strainer bucket is perforated to allow for flow of water through the pool strainer but to prevent the through passage of leaves and debris.

The pool strainer bucket 10 is at least in part composed of a flexible material such as polymer rubber, or an elastomer such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or similar material, having a flexibility of between 50 and 70 durometer or between 55 and 65 durometer. The flexibility is sufficient to allow crushing of the pool strainer bucket 10 and at least the wall 11. The flexibility allows the bucket to be caished and, once the crushing force is no longer applied, it resiliency returns to its original form, which can assist in manipulation of the bucket, emptying of the bucket, removal of undesirables such as spiders and insertion into the skimmer well. It also may be longer lasting and more durable than similar skimmer baskets made of other materials.

The cover 18 of the pool strainer bucket 10 is also flexible and it may be formed from materials such as polymer rubber or an elastomer such as TPU. The aperture 20 is sized and shaped such that it forms a one way valve. Leaves and debris move into the interior cavity 15 when there is flow into the bucket 10 through the aperture 20, but do not move out. When the pump that causes flow of water from the pool into the bucket is stopped the one way valve 20 of the cover 18 acts to retain debris and leaves within the bucket rather than allowing them to float out. In the

embodiments illustrated in figures 1 to 3 and 10 to 19, the aperture 20 is in the form of a slot, however other forms are available such as, for example, a plurality of slots as shown in figure 7, a star or cross shape as shown in figures 4 to 6, etc.

The strainer bucket 10, and/or the cover 18, further includes a handle 23 to allow a user to remove the bucket 10 from the skimmer well with a pool tool in the form of an elongate member such as a hook, a stick, a broom handle, etc. This is particularly advantageous in winter as it allows the user to remove the pool strainer bucket 0 from the pool system without having to reach their hand into the cold water.

As shown in Figure 3, in some forms the cover 18 has a closure system 25 to allow press fit of the cover to engage the bucket 10 in a closed configuration.

As shown in Figs. 4 and 5, in a second embodiment the pool strainer bucket 10 comprises a substantially flexible and collapsible wall 1 1 extending upwardly from a base 12. The wails 1 are perforated to allow water to flow through the bucket, drawing leaves and debris from the pool into the strainer bucket. Advantageously, this embodiment may be stored and transported in its collapsed configuration as illustrated in Fig. 5. For example, posting this embodiment in its collapsed configuration will reduce its volume (as compared to its volume when expanded) and this will typically reduce the associated postage costs, which can help to reduce the costs of distributing the product to remote purchasers.

As shown in figures 4 to 6 and 10 to 15 the cover 18 may comprise a separate piece from the strainer bucket 10. The cover 18 is designed to fit about the rim 13 of the bucket 10 and enclose the interior cavity 15. The cover includes an aperture 20 shaped as a cross extending through the cover into the interior cavity 15 of the bucket 10. Alternatively, as shown in figures I to 3 and 16 to 19, in some embodiments the cover 18 is integral with the bucket 10.

As shown best in Fig. 6, in use the strainer bucket allows water and debris and leaves to flow into the bucket under the force of a flow of water from the pool . The water then leaves the bucket 0 through the perforated wails 1 while the debris is trapped in the bucket. When the water flow stops the aperture 20 returns to a close configuration to prevent debris and leaves from floating out of the bucket 10.

As shown in Figs. 7 and 8, in a further form of the pool strainer, the bucket 10 is openable through a mid-line or split in the bucket or has an opening in the wall 11 , This allows the cover 18 to remain engaged with the walls 1 1 while still allowing for debris to be removed. The walls are joined together at the base 12.

As shown best in Fig. 9, an aperture 20 in the cover 18 comprises a plurality of slots allowing ingress of leaves and debris with the water flowing into the interi or cavity 15 while acting as a one-way valve through the flexibility of the cover to prevent debris and leaves from floating out of the bucket 10 when the pool pump is not in use.

As shown in figures 10 to 12, in this embodiment of the cover 18 the centre of the cover 18 defines a recess 26 that dips below the plane of the rim 13 so as to extend towards the bucket 10. This may be contrasted with the centre of the cover 18 shown in figures 13 to 15, which defines a protmsion 27 extending above the rim 13 and away from the bucket 10. Such varying geometries may be utilised to provide desired properties such as: the rate of closure of the aperture 20 when the flow of water into the bucket 10 is stopped; transitory suction effects generated as the centre of the cover 18 returns to its normal resting shape when the water flow stops; the longevity of the product in use; etc.

The bucket 10 and the cover 18 as illustrated in figures 16 to 19 are in two separable left and right hand parts (although each half of the cover 18 is respectively integrally formed with each half of the bucket 10). Both the base 12 and the sidewalls 11 of the left and right hand halves of the bucket 10 have projections 28 that are received by corresponding recesses 29 in the other side so as to allow the two halves to releasablv interlock with each other. Similarly, the left and right hand halves of the cover 18 each include a projection 30 that is releasablv received into a corresponding recess 31 in the other side to releasablv interlock the two halves of the cover 18, This allows the user to interlock the left and right halves when installing this embodiment into the skimmer well. Once leaf material and other debris has accumulated in the bucket 10, the user may remove the bucket 10 from the skimmer well and disengage the two halves from each other to ease removal of the accumulated leaf material and debris and to aid de-clogging of the perforations. In this embodiment, the split that defines the left hand and right hand sides of the cover 10 also functions as the aperture 20 that allows leaf material and other debris to be received into the bucket 10 due to the water that is being pumped into the skimmer well.

The material of the pool strainer bucket 10 and particularly of the wails 1 of the bucket 10 and the or any cover 18 of the bucket is flexible. In some forms the material is a flexible rubber polymer, or an elastomer such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), or similar material. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that the selected material should have suitable resistance to the typical levels of UV, ozone and pH to which the bucket 10 and cover 18 are likely to be exposed in use. If necessary, additives may be added to the material during manufacture to impart suitable resistance. Additionally, the material is preferably selected for suitability with the chosen production method. For example, TPU is well suited to injection moulding, which is one of the preferred methods for producing the bucket 10 and the cover 18.

In some forms the flexibility is between 50 and 70 duro. In some forms the flexibility is between 55 and 65 duro. In some forms the flexibility is 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 duro. The flexibility or hardness is sufficient that the bucket and lid can flex under certain forces and reform when the forces are absent. For the bucket 10 the walls 1 1 are crushable under human pressing force but reform when left. For the cover 18 the aperture slot 20 is openable under a flow force of water and returns to a closed configuration when the water flow ceases. When the user decides to de-clog the pool strainer bucket 10, it must be extracted from the pool system. For embodiments having a handle 23, such as those illustrated in figures 1 to 3 and 13 to 19, the user may thread an elongate member such as a stick, broom handle, hook, etc., through the handle 23. The user then pulls on the elongate member so as to pull the pool strainer bucket 0 out of the skimmer well. For embodiments such as those illustrated in figures 4 to 12, which do not have a handle, the user would simply reach into the water to extract the bucket 10.

There is a risk that the pool strainer bucket 10 may be harbouring dangerous or undesirable life forms such as spiders or the like. To mitigate this risk, the flexibility of the material from which the embodiment is made allows the user to crush the pool strainer bucket 10, for example by stepping on it, so as to kill any such dangerous or undesirable life forms that may be residing within. Once the crushing force is no longer applied, the bucket 10 resiliently reforms and the user may now safely remove the bulk of the leaf matter and/or debris from the pool strainer bucket. Typically, however, some smaller pieces of leaves or other debris may remain stuck in some of the perforations. Once again the flexibility of the material assists with this step of the procedure because it allows the user to impact the pool strainer bucket 10 against a solid object such as the ground, a rock garden or the like. Such impacts stretch and deform the perforations, which assists to dislodge the leaf matter and/or debris that is clogging them. The flexibility also allows the bucket 10 to withstand such impacts with little or no risk of fracturing as compared to the fracture risk associated with the comparatively rigid and brittle prior art buckets. If necessary, the flexibility of the material also allows the user to turn the pool strainer bucket 10 inside-out so as to assist in removal of leaf matter and/or debris from the perforations. This gives the user easy access to the side of the perforations that is usually on the inside the bucket. The process of turning it inside-out also deforms the perforations, which may assist de-clogging. Once de-clogged, the user returns the bucket 10 to its normal configuration.

The de-clogging process can be further eased with the use of two pool filter buckets 10. This allows the user to remove a clogged bucket 10 and immediately replace it in the pool system with the second clean bucket. The user can then crush the removed bucket to kill any undesirables and then allow it to dry. Typically, once dried, the leaf matter and/or debris is easier to remove from the bucket and its perforations.

In the detailed description, reference is made to accompanying drawings which form a part of the detailed description. The illustrative embodiments described in the detailed description, depicted in the drawings and defined in the claims, are not intended to be limiting. Other embodiments may be utilised and other changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the subject matter presented. It will be readily understood that the aspects of the present disclosure, as generally described herein and illustrated in the drawings can be arranged, substituted, combined, separated and designed in a wide variety of different configurations, all of which are contemplated in this disclosure.

In the claims which follow and in the preceding description, except where the context requires otherwise due to express language or necessary implication, the word "comprise" or variations such as "comprises" or "comprising" is used in an inclusive sense, i.e. to specify the presence of the stated features but not to preclude the presence or addition of further features in various embodiments.




 
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