Vented scooping device

A filtering gutter or trench cleaning device with directional fluid exit is advantageous in the cleaning process. The invention includes an open scoop like structure with two sides that are connected by a bottom portion and a rear portion. At least one of these portions includes a directional vent that allows water to exit as the debris stays within the structure. The directional capacity of the vent includes a void angle that directs the flow of water. If the water is desired to be removed in this manner as well as the solid debris, while the device is empty, a liner can be inserted into the exposed cavity, thus enabling a water tight seal within the cavity. The bottom portion in the front of the invention can also include a plurality of teeth extending from the bottom portion, away from the rear portion. The invention may also include a top portion which is moveably mounted to the invention, thereby allowing access to the inside by manipulation of the top portion, scooping up debris and then closing the top portion, capturing the debris within the cavity of the invention. This top portion may also include a vent to allow water to drain therefrom.

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Description

[0001] This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 09/321,891 filed May 29, 1999, now abandoned.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The invention herein relates to a device for containing for the purpose of moving debris and more particularly to a device which facilitates removal of wet debris from a restricted area such as a gutter or channel and a method of accomplishing the task.

[0004] 2. Overview of Prior Art

[0005] Often times the flow of water is accompanied by floating or moving debris in the water. This debris can interfere with the movement of the water by restricting its flow, especially through restricted areas such as down spouts in eves on roofs of buildings and at bridges or culverts under roads. This restriction to flow causes a backup in the water which then forces the flow of water to travel in unintended areas, often times resulting in damage to the outlining area in the form of erosion.

[0006] Attempts, in the form of tools, have been made to correct this problem. One such device, as it is applied to cleaning rain gutters, was disclosed by Chisolm in U.S. Pat. No. 4,640,540. This device uses a flexible structure that theoretically conforms to the inside shape of the gutter. A handle facilitates driving the open end of the scoop into solid debris in the gutter to secure and remove same.

[0007] Another version of this concept is disclosed by Kreiser in U.S. Pat. No. 5,435,612 in which teeth are incorporated into the entire front portion, sides and bottom to aid in the digging of the debris from a rain gutter or eve. Another difference here is in the modification of the handle to be an extension that is usable by a person standing on the ground.

[0008] A gutter scoop has been disclosed by Haynes in U.S. Pat. No. D359,893 which shows a type of spoon with drain holes in the bottom portion of the cavity of the spoon. Another design was disclosed by Isbell, Sr. in U.S. Pat. No. D359,892. This design provides an elevated parallel handle with a cavity of sufficient size to hold a significant amount of debris. There is no attempt to show a method of drainage for the accompanying water in this disclosure.

[0009] A unique gutter cleaning device was disclosed by Malless, Jr. in U.S. Pat. No. 4,447,927 which incorporates a “U” handle. As with Kreiser ('612) this is intended to be operated by a user on the ground. The spoon shaped opening includes a series of spike-like projections extending from the body, intending to enable a “sweeping” of the gutter. The projections are also seen on the inside of the body, presumably to create a restriction to exiting flow of debris while allowing water to the drain therefrom.

[0010] An issue of safety is addressed by this and other previously noted methods of cleaning overhead eves from a ground level position in that the user is not elevated and thus not in danger of falling. The disadvantages include not being able to see the problem areas in the eve, the discharged debris falling on the user and the mechanical disadvantage of applying a “digging” force at the end of a lever arm several feet long. Range of motion is increased but force is decreased. Force is an extremely relevant factor in most digging operations.

[0011] Another method was shown was by Smith in U.S. Pat. No. 4,848,818. In this case the user must be positioned on the roof and dig with the tool in a manner similar to a hoe and shovel combination. Though the tool can be used by a user on a ladder, both hands must be employed by the user on the handle to use the tool. This does not allow for the user to keep one hand on the structure (building) to stabilize himself while he is applying force on the tool to dislodge the debris in the eve.

[0012] Grappling devices have been shown by Matthews et al in U.S. Pat. No. 4,930,824; by Moore in U.S. Pat. No. 4,310,940 and Walsh in U.S. Pat. No. 1,939,475 that are capable of grasping and securing leafy material. In the former two of these disclosures those devices are intended to remove only leafy debris from the eves of structures while the user maintaining a position on the ground. Silt, shingle debris, nails etc. that could clog the drain would not be captured by the spaced teeth of such a device. The Walsh disclosure is not specifically intended for this purpose but could be modified to perform this task with the user situated on the roof of the structure. This method of operation would be similar to Smith ('818) disclosure as previously discussed.

[0013] Filter devices that are used with actuating devices such as back hoes are available in the art but limited in scope and function. A filtering system for the purpose of sifting sand or other fine compactable material was disclosed by Scott et al in U.S. Pat. No. 5,398,430 and also by Ballew et al in U.S. Pat. No. 5,493,796. These both use an actuated grate that allows fine particles to pass through while larger particles can not. Neither version shows the intended use of being potentially water tight.

[0014] An actuated external cover on a tractor loader bucket was disclosed by Robinson in U.S. Pat. No. 4,157,956. In this disclosure, a screening bucket is intended to be used for filtering sand and fine dirt from rocks and other debris. Since the cover, as disclosed, is not intended to be water tight, and needs to be actuated with a loaded bucket, it is shown as an external cover, which is the most practical. If the bucket was intended to be used as a sealed or filtering device (which would be decided before loading) then an internal liner would likely be preferable in that the bucket would maintain the structural integrity of the system. The liner would need only act as a seal, and as such could easily be water tight.

[0015] Other filtering devices are disclosed by Brooks in U.S. Pat. No. 4,749,478; Chambless in U.S. Pat. No. 5,738,400 and Montelione in U.S. Pat. No. 4,983,281. These disclosures relate to a swimming pool skimmer, egg retriever and a metal detector scoop sifter respectively. They do incorporate filtering devices to capture items or debris while allowing unwanted substances such as water to pass there through. There potential use in the capacity of cleaning a structure such as a drain gutter or eve is not practical with such devices.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] The object of the disclosed invention is to provide a filtering gutter or trench cleaning device. The invention includes an open scoop like structure with two side portions that are preferably parallel or substantially parallel to each other. These portions are connected by a bottom portion and a rear portion, this combination defining a cavity there between. Though any or all of these portions could include a vent, the preferred embodiment provides this only in the rear portion. A handle is in fixed communication with the rear portion and situated without obstructing the directional vent. The handle is positioned outside the cavity. The front portion being open allows debris that includes water to be received by the structure. As the device is raised to remove the debris, the water is able to pass through the directional vent, exiting the device away from the handle, thereby leaving only the solid debris within the cavity. If the water is desired to be removed in this manner as well as the solid debris, while the device is empty, a liner can be inserted into the exposed cavity, thus enabling a water tight seal within the cavity.

[0017] The directional vent is comprised of at least one void of adequate dimension so as to allow water to flow through but small enough that leaf material cannot pass through. This dimension can vary somewhat depending upon conditional requirements but is preferably between 0.05 and 0.25 inches. These voids may be arranged in a series of columns and rows. Each void includes a void angle between 45 and 85 degrees with respect to the bottom portion. The device may also include a finger guard to further protect the user's hands from the discharge through the directional vent.

[0018] The bottom portion in the front of the invention can also include a plurality of teeth extending from the bottom portion, away from the rear portion. This provides a decreased cross section of area on the cutting edge of the invention. Thus, with consistent force, an increased pressure is observed by this cutting edge on the debris, facilitating it to be dislodged.

[0019] Another addition to the preferred embodiment is in the form of a top portion, which is moveably mounted to the structure of the invention, preferably pivotally mounted to the side portions. This allows access to the inside by manipulation of the top portion, scooping up debris and then closing the top portion, capturing the debris within the cavity of the invention. This top portion may or may not include a vent to allow water to drain therefrom and a knob that is accessible by at least one digit of the hand of the user while in contact with the handle.

[0020] The invention also includes the method of debris removal which includes a device as previously described wherein the user grasps the handle, inserts the open end into a debris filled structure, moves the device in the structure to receive the debris, allowing water to be discharged through the directional vent and away from the handle. The user may then remove the debris remaining with the device and discharge it. The process can be performed with minimal contact with the hand of the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a vented scooping device produced in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0022] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a vented scooping device, shown being used with a removable liner.

[0023] FIG. 3 is an isometric view of a vented scooping device, shown being used with a sliding liner.

[0024] FIG. 4 is an isometric, exploded view of a vented scooping device, showing the assembly of the vented top portion.

[0025] FIG. 5 is a side view of a vented scooping device, shown with the top portion in an open position, allowing access to the internal cavity.

[0026] FIG. 6 is an isometric, exploded view of vented scooping device with a movable liner, the device is depicted in the form of a scoop used on a backhoe or similar piece of heavy equipment.

[0027] FIG. 7 is an isometric, exploded view of vented scooping device with an articulating vented upper portion, the device is depicted in the form of a scoop used on a backhoe or similar piece of heavy equipment.

[0028] FIG. 8 is an isometric view of a vented scooping device with a modified handle and showing section line 9-9, the device produced in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0029] FIG. 9 is a sectioned view illustrating the discharge flow vector of a vented scooping device, as it would typically be used.

[0030] FIG. 10 is a sectioned view along section 9-9, of a vented scooping device, which has been enlarged to show the discharge voids in greater detail.

[0031] FIG. 11 is a side view of a vented scooping device as it would typically be used, the device including a finger guard.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0032] In response to current inadequacies of products in the marketplace, the following disclosure is made thus showing and describing a novel improvement relative to the current state of the art. Many scooping devices are used to remove solid debris so that water can flow and drain from a trench, gutter, eve or channel. In these cases the water need not be removed, only the large solid debris so that the water and small suspended solid particles will drain according to the design of the drainage system. As such, removing the water with a scooping device provides a great deal of excessive work for the user. What is herein disclosed is a scooping device that is vented so as to allow for drainage of water and “non-clogging” debris from the scooping device, leaving the larger, solid debris therein.

[0033] As shown in FIG. 1, a somewhat traditional scooping device is shown in that it includes a handle 10 which is connected to a combination of structural portions. In this view a basic version of the preferred embodiment is shown with a right side portion 12 which is substantially parallel to a left side portion 14. A bottom portion 16 and a rear portion 18 are connected to the side portions. The combination of these elements alone is not novel, however, numerous alterations and additions have been make. The most apparent is the addition of a vent 20 in the rear portion. This vent 20 can take on an infinite number of variations in size, shape and orientation. What is shown here is series of voids 22 in the rear portion oriented in columns and rows. These voids 22 are of sufficient dimension so as to allow water to flow through but small enough such solid debris such as leaf material cannot pass through. For an application such as this, which would likely be used as a scoop to clean gutters and eves of leaf material to prevent clogging the downspouts, a dimension (designated by “x”) of each void 22 would be between 0.05 to 0.25 inches.

[0034] Additional improvements as shown in this figure include bottom ribs 24 in the bottom portion 16 to add structural support to the device when applying greater force to “dig” debris out of a gutter. In addition, front edge of the bottom portion 16 includes a series of teeth 26. These teeth 26 reduce the surface area of contact with more stubborn debris. When the device is pushed into this debris, by use of the handle, the reduction in contact area results in a greater pressure on the debris, facilitating its displacement into the cavity of the device, as defined by the side portions (12 and 14), rear portion 18 and the bottom portion 16.

[0035] This device being used in a structural nature, hence the properties of the material used in manufacturing the device can make the device more or less useful. The device is best suited to be manufactured of a substantially rigid material. Such materials include a variety of plastics and metals. The plastics include both thermoset plastics and thermoplastics. As far as metals are concerned, most if not all known metals can be used, the most common being aluminum, steel and magnesium.

[0036] A variation to the preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 2, which shows slight modifications to the previous disclosed version of the invention. Here the bottom ribs and teeth on the bottom portion have been removed in that, in some cases they may be preferable, but they are not critical to the function of the invention. A bottom vent 28 is shown in the bottom portion 16 in the form of a single elongated void. This vent 28 functions in a similar manner to that of the previously disclosed and could just as well be comprised of a plurality of voids such as in the rear portion 18 of the device.

[0037] A liner 30 is also shown in this figure. This liner 30 is receivable to the cavity defined by the side portions (12 and 14), rear portion 18 and the bottom portion 16. The liner 30 need only be a thin material that is preferably impervious to water. This provides the user with the ability to transform the filtering device to a solid, scooping device when it is desirable to retain water within the cavity of the device.

[0038] Another variation to the preferred embodiment is shown in FIG. 3, wherein the physical structure in more like that shown in FIG. 1, insofar as the bottom portion 16 includes the ribs 24 and teeth 26 as previously disclosed. The device also includes a right side portion 12, a left side portion 14 and a rear portion 18 with a vent 32 located therein. In this case the vent 32 has an sliding liner 34 that articulates in a track 36 located in the rear portion 18 of the device. This allows the user to control the discharge of the liquid through the vent from the cavity of the device. The incorporation of the liner into the vented portion of the device also eliminates the liner from being potentially lost or misplaced because the liner is always a part of the device. This could also be accomplished by a number of other attachment means such as a pivoting attachment of the liner to the device. A hanger void 38 is also included to hang the item for storage when not in use or for display in a store.

[0039] In terms of the display in the store and shipping of the product, the right and left side portions (12 and 14 respectively) can be made to flare out slightly with respect to each other. This is preferably done with the rear portion 18 as well, the drawings showing this portion to angle slightly rearward toward the handle. This allows the cavity of one device to receive the body of the next. This nesting of the invention reduces shipping and shelf volume for a given number of devices.

[0040] The addition of a top portion 40 is shown in FIG. 4. Here the top portion 40 includes a vent 42 which is also a series of columns and rows of voids 44. To allow access to the internal cavity defined the right side 12, left side 14, bottom 16 and rear portions 18, the upper portion must be movable in some way. The preferred embodiment is shown here which includes a pivot rod 46 that is receivable by a right pivot hole 48 and the a pivot hole 50. The assembly of the device can be made in any number of methods that are common to the art. Here this would be accomplished by gently flexing the right side 12 and left side 14 away from each other, allowing the pivot rod 46 to be inserted into the pivot holes (48 and 50). A top knob 52 is also included on the top portion 40 to allow easy articulation of the top portion 40 by use of the user's thumb or other finger while the user's hand is grasping the handle 10.

[0041] A side view of the invention being used by rotating the top portion 40 toward the handle 10, by use of the top knob 52, is clearly shown in FIG. 5. This allows for opening of the top portion 40, scooping debris to be retained within the cavity so that it can be disposed of, all with one hand. Many times this process must be done at the top of a ladder or in a confined space. Therefore, safety of using the other hand to secure oneself or simply the inability of the user to use two hands makes the invention disclosed herein highly beneficial.

[0042] The scope of the invention is not intended to be limited to a hand held device. The function of scooping the debris out of a rain gutter is not dissimilar to cleaning out the branches, mud and rocks from a under a bridge or culvert under a roadway. In this case heavy equipment is typically used. A typical application would be in the form of a backhoe bucket as shown in FIG. 6. Here the scooping device in the form of a bucket includes a right side portion 54, a left side portion 56, a bottom portion 58 and a rear portion 60. The rear portion 60 of the bucket includes a vent in the form of a plurality of elongated voids 61, similar in function to that as previously disclosed. The dimension of the voids 61 would likely, but not necessarily, be increased somewhat proportionally with the physical size of the device.

[0043] A pivoting liner 62 is shown here as with a pivot rod 64 that enables the liner 62 to be fastened to the sides (54 and 56) of the device by fasteners 66 through the holes 68 in the sides. The liner 62 includes a flat portion 70 that mates with the rear portion 60 and a curved portion 72 that mates with the bottom portion 58. In this disclosure there is a vent only in the rear portion 60, therefore the curved portion 72 of the liner is not necessary. Vents may be included in any or all portions of the device. In the next figure, a vent is displayed in the bottom portion, therefore this version of the liner would be applicable to both, but more specifically to the latter figure.

[0044] The device as shown in FIG. 6 also shows a plurality of teeth 74 on the front of the device and an attachment handle 76 in the rear. This attachment handle can take a variety of forms but is shown here in a preferred embodiment as a structural element which enables a pivotal attachment, via pin 78, to structural support 80. This structural support acts to facilitate movement of the device by use of a mechanical actuator. This would likely take the form of a loader arm or backhoe arm. To this support 80 is Attached an actuation device 82, such as a hydraulic cylinder. This enables pivotal movement of the device about the pin 78, and relative to the support 80.

[0045] Such a device is traditionally used in large commercial applications with heavy loads. As such, the device must me constructed of a rigid material, typically aluminum, steel or magnesium, though the scope of the invention is not bound by the materials used. Another version of this form of the invention is shown in FIG. 7. Here many of the features of the previously disclosed are relevant, and these elements are numbered in accordance with the previous figure. One modification involves the addition of a bottom vent 84 in the bottom portion 58 of the device. This is shown as a plurality columns and rows of voids, which in this case are holes 86 in the bottom portion 58.

[0046] A second alteration to the previous figure is in the addition of a top portion 88 as it would be suited for this application of the invention. The top portion 88 is shown here to include a vent in the form of plurality of voids 90. The invention could also exist without the vent in the top portion 88. A pivot tube 92 is included in one end of the top portion 88 which is mounted to the side portions (54 and 56) by fasteners 94. The opposite end of the top portion 88 includes a series of recesses 96 to allow the ability to receive the teeth 74 when the top portion 88 is closed onto the bucket.

[0047] In this, the preferred embodiment, it is desirable for the top portion 88 to be actuated similar to the actuation of the hand held version and also that of the bucket or device as a whole. This actuation is accomplished by an actuator 98, shown here in the form of a small hydraulic cylinder that is mounted between the lower ears 100 on the attachment handle 76 and the upper ears 102 on the top portion 88. When the actuator 98 is extended, the top portion 88 will open, allowing access to the cavity of the device. When the actuator 98 is retracted, the top portion 88 will close trapping the solid material therein.

[0048] This version is shown without a liner, though a complete liner can be placed in the cavity covering any portion of the cavity. This liner can be fastened to the one or more of the side, rear or bottom portions by any means that is common to the art. This removable type liner is advantageous in many ways because the liner only functions to seal the voids. There is little structural integrity needed by the liner since it is supported directly underneath by the respective structural portion of the device that it is attached or seated on. This offers the user a cost efficient method of having two devices, one with vents when the user desires not to move the liquid, only the solid mass, or by adding the liner the user now has the capability to move solid and liquid material.

[0049] A design similar to the previously disclosed is shown in FIG. 8. The handle 10 has been modified to include a rear arch 104 and a middle finger arch 106. These replace the previously shown finger grooves as depicted in FIGS. 1-5. This alternative allows substantial control of the device simply by grasping the handle 10 with reduced piece price of the device. The rear arch 104 extends posterior to the little finger of the user as the handle 10 is grasped thereby. The middle finger arch 106 is situated anterior to the middle finger of the user. This enables anterior-posterior reaction forces by the handle 10 to ensure a stable grip.

[0050] Three pairs of adjacent columns of voids 22 are shown in this figure. Although the number of voids is not considered critical to the novelty of the invention, the inventor has determined preferred positioning and size of these voids. Six columns of voids 22 arranged in rows in the rear portion 18 starting near the lowest finger height of the hand of the user is preferred.

[0051] A key element of the invention is shown in FIG. 9 as it relates to the voids 22. The voids 22 in the rear portion 18 are shown to be positioned in an angled orientation relative to orthogonal to the face of the rear portion 18. This is further illustrated by the discharge vectors 108, which note the angle of flow of the water 110 through these vents 22. The water 110 and debris 112 that are received within the device are shuttled toward the rear portion 18 (as shown by the arrow 114) by a forward movement of the device (as shown by the second arrow 116).

[0052] The debris 112 that is to large to fit through the voids 22 remain within the device and the water 110 is allowed to by discharged through the voids 22. The angular orientation of the voids 22 is important in that this downward orientation pushes the water 110 down away from the user's hand that is grasping the handle 10. The rather coarse filtering process caused by the voids 22 is intended to capture larger pieces and heavy silt as the debris that could clog a downspout. Small debris is able to pass through the voids 22 in that this will not clog the downspout. As such, the water 110 is commonly contaminated with insect larvae, dirt and other residue. This is water is not a desirable substance to have on the user's hands. The downward discharge of this water 110, by the orientation of the voids 22 causes the discharge to flow down, away from the hands of the user.

[0053] The angled orientation of the voids 22 in the rear portion 18 is further illustrated in FIG. 10. This enlarged, fragmented section of the device more clearly shows the downward angle of the voids 22 relative to the rear portion 18. The rear portion 18 is already angled with respect to perpendicular to the bottom portion 16. This has an advantage in facilitating the direction of discharge of the water 110, as well as enables multiples of the device to be stacked in storage. It is still determined advantageous to angle the orientation of the voids 22 to further direct the flow of the discharging water 110. The void angle (&thgr;) is defined as the angle that the void 22 makes with the bottom portion 16. An acceptable void angle is a range of angles. The 45° angle, as shown here is useful, but in some cases an even greater void angle is more desirable. Due to the sloping orientation of the rear portion 18, the void angle can approach 90°. A range for the void angle &thgr; between 45° and 85° has been determined as preferred.

[0054] A compounded solution to the prevention of soiling the user's hands during use of the device is shown in FIG. 11. Here the voids 22 in the rear portion 18 are orientated downward, as previously disclosed, thus directing the discharge 108 down away from the handle 10. As an additional feature, a finger guard 118 is provided. The finger guard 118 acts as a shield to further guard against “splash back” of the contaminated water on the user's hands. The structural integrity of the guard 118 also enables a physical protection in the event that the user inadvertently maneuvers the handle down against a rigid or sharp object. Such could be the case when the user is working in a gutter near an end, where the trough ends and a vertical wall exists.

Claims

38. A vented scooping device comprising:

a first side portion disposed substantially parallel to a second side portion and connected by a bottom portion;
a rear portion connecting said first side, said second side and said bottom portions, the portions in combination defining a cavity there between, the rear portion including a directional vent; and
a handle in fixed communication with said rear portion and without obstructing said directional vent and positioned outside of said cavity, whereby material from said cavity can be discharged through said directional vent away from said handle.

39. The scooping device as described in claim 38, wherein said directional vent is comprised of at least one void of adequate dimension so as to allow water to flow through but small enough such that leaf material cannot pass through.

40. The scooping device as described in claim 39, wherein said dimension is between 0.05 and 0.25 inches.

41. The scooping device as described in claim 38, wherein said directional vent is comprised of a plurality of voids arranged in a series of columns and rows.

42. The scooping device as described in claim 38, wherein said directional vent has a void angle between 45 and 85 degrees with respect to said bottom portion.

43. The scooping device as described in claim 38, further comprising a plurality of teeth extending from said bottom portion, away from said rear portion.

44. The scooping device as described in claim 38, further comprising a rigid liner that is receivable by at least a portion of said cavity, thereby obstruction said vent.

45. The scooping device as described in claim 38, further comprising a top portion, moveably mounted to a portion of said combination, allowing access to said cavity by manipulation of said top portion.

46. The scooping device as described in claim 38, wherein said top portion includes a top knob, the knob accessible by at least one digit of a hand of a user while the hand is in contact with said handle.

47. A vented scoop comprising:

a structure comprising, in combination, two side portions, a bottom portion and a rear portion, the combination defining a cavity there between;
a handle in fixed communication with a portion of said combination, without interference of said directional vent and positioned outside of said cavity; and
a directional vent in at least one portion of said combination, thus enabling controlled discharge of fluid from said cavity through said directional vent away from said handle.

48. The scooping device as described in claim 47, wherein said directional vent is comprised of at least one void of adequate dimension so as to allow water to flow through but small enough such that leaf material cannot pass through.

49. The scooping device as described in claim 48, wherein said dimension is between 0.05 and 0.25 inches.

50. The scooping device as described in claim 47, wherein said directional vent is comprised of a plurality of voids arranged in a series of columns and rows.

51. The scooping device as described in claim 47, wherein said directional vent has a void angle between 45 and 85 degrees with respect to said bottom portion.

52. The scooping device as described in claim 47, further comprising a plurality of teeth extending from said bottom portion, away from said rear portion.

53. The scooping device as described in claim 47, further comprising a rigid liner that is receivable by at least a portion of said cavity, thereby obstruction said vent.

54. The scooping device as described in claim 47, further comprising a top portion, moveably mounted to a portion of said combination, allowing access to said cavity by manipulation of said top portion.

55. The scooping device as described in claim 47, wherein said top portion includes a top knob, the knob accessible by at least one digit of a hand of a user while the hand is in contact with said handle.

56. A method of removing debris from a water filled structure without soiling the hand of a user, including the steps of:

providing a scooping device, the device including:
a structure comprising, in combination, two side portions, a bottom portion and a rear portion, the combination defining a cavity there between;
a handle in fixed communication with a portion of said combination, without interference of said directional vent and positioned outside of said cavity; and
a directional vent in at least one portion of said combination, thus enabling controlled discharge of fluid from said cavity through said directional vent away from said handle;
grasping said handle with one hand and inserting the scoop in said water filled structure;
moving said scoop in said structure such that said debris and water are received within said cavity;
allowing said water to discharge through said directional vent, away from the hand of the user; and
removing said scoop from said structure, and dumping said debris within said cavity.

57. The method of claim 56, wherein said handle of said scoop is fixed to said rear portion thereof and said directional vent is also positioned in said rear portion below said handle, said vent having a void angle between 45 and 85 degrees.

Patent History

Publication number: 20020014025
Type: Application
Filed: Sep 26, 2001
Publication Date: Feb 7, 2002
Inventor: Charles Silva (Templeton, CA)
Application Number: 09931327

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Manually Powered (037/265)
International Classification: E01H005/02;