METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DELIVERING CHLORINE INTO A BODY OF WATER

- VALTERRA PRODUCTS, LLC

A floating chlorine dispenser includes a buoyancy body and a dispenser body having dispenser ports adapted to deliver chlorine from, the floating chlorine dispenser. The buoyancy body includes a buoyancy chamber that provides the floating chlorine dispenser with a buoyancy force. The buoyancy force maintains a full indicator line on the buoyancy body aligned with the water line when the floating chlorine dispenser is filled with chlorine tablets. Likewise, the buoyancy force maintains an empty indicator line on the buoyancy body aligned with the water line when the floating chlorine dispenser is empty. Observation of the water line relative to the full indicator line and the empty indicator line provides a visual indication of the amount of chlorine tablets in the floating chlorine dispenser.

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Description

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to a chlorine dispenser, and, more particularly, but not by way of limitation to a chlorine dispenser that allows a user to easily identify when the chlorine dispenser requires refilling.

2. Description of the Related Art

The chemical chlorine is most often used to keep bodies of water such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and the like free of pathogens that can be hazardous to humans. When chlorine is added to a body of water, a reaction occurs between the chlorine and any harmful pathogens present. Specifically, the chlorine penetrates the cell wall of a harmful pathogen and oxidizes the pathogen thereby rendering it harmless. Chlorine added to a body of water eventually breaks down due to its reaction with other elements and sunlight. Accordingly, proper amounts of chlorine must be regularly added to a body of water in order to be effective and ensure a safe environment. In particular, if too much chlorine is added, the excess chlorine can cause irritation to a user's skin and possible lung irritation due to chlorine gas accumulating on the surface of the body of water. Conversely, if insufficient chlorine is added, then harmful pathogens can accumulate thereby endangering a user's health.

Chlorine is typically added to bodies of water such as swimming pools, hot tubs, and the like either manually or through some type of floating chlorine dispenser. A floating chlorine dispenser houses chlorine tablets and dispenses chlorine into a body of water through openings in the dispenser. The transition of the floating chlorine dispenser from a bill amount of chlorine tablets to empty takes from several clays to a few weeks depending on water temperature and the size of the dispenser's openings. Using a floating chlorine dispenser to dispense chlorine into a body of water alleviates the time consuming process of manually adding chlorine. However, floating chlorine dispensers do not provide a visual indication of when the floating chlorine dispenser requires refilling with chlorine tablets, creating a likelihood that refilling is overlooked and a situation where a body of water contains insufficient chlorine.

Accordingly, a floating chlorine dispenser that provides a visual indication of when it requires refilling wife chlorine tablets would prevent situations where a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like lacks sufficient chlorine.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a floating chlorine dispenser delivers chlorine into a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. The floating chlorine dispenser includes a buoyancy body, a dispenser body, and a circulation sleeve.

The buoyancy body includes an outer wall, an inner wall, a full indicator line, and an empty indicator line. The inner wall of the buoyancy body defines a buoyancy body tablet enclosure while the outer wall and the inner wall define a sealed buoyancy chamber that provides the floating chlorine dispenser with a buoyancy force. The buoyancy body further includes an opening that communicates with the buoyancy body enclosure to allow the insertion of chlorine tablets into the floating chlorine dispenser. A lid secures with the opening in the buoyancy body to seal the floating chlorine dispenser.

The dispenser body defines a dispenser body tablet enclosure. The dispenser body is coupled with the buoyancy body such that the dispenser body tablet enclosure communicates with the buoyancy body tablet enclosure to form a tablet chamber. The dispenser body includes dispenser ports that deliver chlorine from the tablet chamber.

The circulation sleeve couples with the dispenser body and includes openings that operate with the dispenser ports of the dispenser body to regulate delivery of chorine into a body of water. The circulation sleeve rotates about the dispenser body between a fully closed position and a fully open position. In the fully closed position, the circulation sleeve blocks the dispenser ports of the dispenser body preventing the delivery of chlorine into the water. Conversely, in the fully open position, the openings of the circulation sleeve align with, the dispenser ports of the dispenser body to allow the delivery of chlorine into the water. Furthermore, the rotation of the circulation sleeve between its fully open position and its fully closed position regulates the flow of chlorine into the water.

The specific gravity of chlorine tablets is greater than that of water. Accordingly, when the tablet chamber of the floating chlorine dispenser is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets, the dispenser body is submerged under the water while the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the full indicator line is aligned with the water line. Likewise, when the tablet chamber of the floating chlorine dispenser is empty, the dispenser body remains submerged while the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the empty indicator line aligns with the water line. Movement of the floating chlorine dispenser between the full indicator line and the empty indicator line allows an operator to gauge the rate at which chlorine is dispensed into the water thereby allowing the operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser requires refilling with chlorine tablets.

In a method of delivering chlorine into water, the floating chlorine dispenser is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets and placed into water. The floating chlorine dispenser in the water is monitored to determine the relationship between the empty indicator line and the water line. When the empty indicator line aligns with the water line, the floating chlorine dispenser is retrieved from the water and refilled to capacity with chlorine tablets. The floating chlorine dispenser is then replaced into the water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top view in perspective illustrating a floating chlorine dispenser.

FIG. 2 is a bottom view in perspective illustrating the floating chlorine dispenser.

FIG. 3 is a side view in perspective illustrating the floating chlorine dispenser.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional side view illustrating the floating chlorine dispenser.

FIG. 5 is a top view with a lid removed illustrating a chamber of the chlorine dispenser.

FIG. 6 is a bottom view of the chlorine dispenser.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Figures are not necessarily to scale, and some features may be exaggerated to show details of particular components or steps.

FIGS. 1-6 illustrate a floating chlorine dispenser 10. The floating chlorine dispenser 10 includes a lid 100 and a body 11 comprised of a buoyancy body 12, a dispenser body 13, and a circulation sleeve 52.

The buoyancy body 12 includes an outer wall 20, an inner wall 21, and an opening 25. The outer wall includes an eyelet 30, a full indicator line 31, and an empty indicator line 32. The eyelet 30 provides an attachment point for the floating chlorine dispenser 10. This attachment point allows an operator to secure a line to the floating chlorine dispenser 10 thereby allowing the operator to easily control and remove the floating chlorine dispenser 10 from a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. The full indicator line 31 and the empty indicator line 32 enable an operator to quickly identify whether the floating chlorine dispenser 10 requires refilling. The operation of the full indicator line 31 and the empty indicator line 32 will be explained in greater detail herein.

The outer wall 20 and the inner wall 21 of the buoyancy body 12 form a buoyancy chamber 22, which in the preferred embodiment is a sealed air-filled chamber that permits the floating chlorine dispenser 10 to float on the surface of a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. The inner wall 21 of the buoyancy body 12 also forms a buoyancy body tablet enclosure 40. The buoyancy body tablet enclosure 40 allows chlorine tablets to be stored within the buoyancy body 12. The opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12 permits access to the buoyancy body tablet enclosure 40 and includes threads that allow the securing of the lid 100 to the buoyancy body 12.

The dispenser body 13 defines a dispenser body tablet enclosure 51 and is comprised of a wall 50 connected with a bottom surface 58. Specifically, as illustrated in FIG. 4, the wall 50 of the dispenser body 13 is formed integrally with the outer wall 20 and the inner wall 21 of the buoyancy body 12 such that the buoyancy body tablet enclosure 40 and the dispenser body tablet enclosure 51 are connected and form a tablet chamber 60. The wall 50 includes dispenser ports 54 that allow chlorine contained within the dispenser body tablet enclosure 51 to exit the floating chlorine dispenser 10 and flow into a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. In addition, the dispenser body 13 includes slots 71-73 that allow the attachment of the circulation sleeve 52 to the dispenser body 13.

The circulation sleeve 52 includes openings 55 and operates as a valve that regulates the flow of chlorine from the floating chlorine dispenser 10 into the body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. The circulation sleeve 52 includes tabs that engage the slots 71-73 of the dispenser body allowing the circulation sleeve 52 to secure to the dispenser body 13 and rotate between a fully open and a fully closed position. In the fully open position, the openings 55 of the circulation sleeve 52 align with the dispenser ports 54 of the dispenser body 13 thereby allowing the dispenser ports 54 to be fully exposed to the body of water. When the dispenser ports 54 are fully exposed to the body of water, the maximum amount of chlorine will dispense into the water. In addition, when the dispenser ports 54 are fully exposed to the water, the chlorine will dispense more quickly thereby requiring that the floating chlorine dispenser 10 be refilled with chlorine tablets more often.

As the circulation sleeve 52 moves from the fully open position to the fully closed position, the circulation sleeve 52 begins to close the dispenser ports 54 of the dispenser body 13 thereby lessening exposure of the dispensing ports 54 with the water. As the dispenser ports 54 close, less chlorine will dispense into the water. In addition, as the dispenser ports 54 close, chlorine wall dispense more slowly thereby requiring that the floating chlorine dispenser 10 be refilled with chlorine tablets less often.

In the fully closed position, the circulation sleeve 52 substantially and completely closes the dispenser ports 54 of the dispenser body 13 thereby preventing the dispenser ports 54 from exposure to the water. In a situation where a body of water includes sufficient chlorine, the dispenser ports 54 are fully closed, and chlorine tablets within the tablet chamber 60 do not deliver chlorine into a body of water.

The lid 100 secures to the opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12. The lid 100 includes threads that engage the threads of the opening 25, thus allowing the lid to be secured or removed from the buoyancy body 12. Specifically, rotation of the lid 100 in a counter-clock wise direction removes the lid 100 from the opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12 and allows access to the tablet chamber 60. Likewise, engaging the threads of the lid 100 with the threads of the opening 25 and then rotating the lid 100 in a clockwise direction secures the lid 100 to the opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12.

The buoyancy chamber 22, the full indicator line 31, the empty indicator line 32, and the tablet chamber 60 work in conjunction to provide visual indication to the operator of when the floating chlorine dispenser 10 requires refilling with chlorine tablets. In particular, the specific gravity of chlorine tablets is greater than that of water, and the buoyancy chamber 22 is sized so that the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber 22 counteracts the weight of the floating chlorine dispenser 10 and the chlorine tablets within the tablet chamber 60 such that the floating chlorine dispenser floats in a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. Furthermore, the buoyancy chamber 22 is sized so that, when the tablet chamber 60 is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber 22 allows the dispenser body 13 to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body 12 to be submerged such that the full indicator line 31 is even with the water line of the body of wafer. As chlorine is dispensed into the body of water, the buoyancy force of the buoyancy chamber 22 raises the floating chlorine dispenser 10 thereby raising the full indicator line 31 in relation to the water line. After the chlorine tablets are fully dispensed into the body of water and the tablet chamber 60 is empty, the floating chlorine dispenser 10 will rise until the empty indicator line 32 is even with the water line of the body of water.

It should be noted that the floating chlorine dispenser 10 not only allows easy visual identification of when the floating chlorine dispenser 10 is empty and needs refilling, it also allows an operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser 10 needs refilling. In particular, after repeated use of the floating chlorine dispenser 10, the operator will be able to gauge the rate at which chlorine is dispensed into a body of water thereby allowing the operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser 10 requires refilling with chlorine tablets. Allowing the operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser 10 requires refilling with chlorine tablets ensures that the proper amount of chlorine is present in a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like.

The floating chlorine dispenser 10 operates in the following manner to dispense chlorine into a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. An operator rotates the lid 100 counter-clockwise to remove the lid from the opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12. After removal of the lid 100, the operator adds chlorine tablets into the tablet chamber 60. The chlorine tablets contact the bottom surface 58 and begin filling the dispenser body tablet enclosure 51. The chlorine tablets then fill the buoyancy body tablet enclosure 40 until the tablet chamber 60 is filled. The operator then places the lid 100 within the opening 25 of the buoyancy body 12 such that the threads of the lid 100 engage the threads of the opening 25. The operator then rotates the lid 100 counter-clockwise to couple the lid 100 with the buoyancy body 12 and to secure the chlorine tablets within the tablet chamber 60. The operator then adjusts the circulation sleeve 52 between the fully open position and the fully closed position such that the desired rate at which chlorine will be dispensed into a body of water is achieved.

Once the tablet chamber 60 is filled and the circulation sleeve 52 is set to the desired position, the operator places the floating chlorine dispenser 10 in a body of water such as a swimming pool, hot tub, or the like. After placement in the body of water, the buoyancy chamber 22 of the floating chlorine dispenser 10 causes the floating chlorine dispenser 10 to float on the surface of the water such that the dispenser body 13 and a portion of the buoyancy body 12 is under the surface of the water. As a result, the dispenser openings 54 are exposed to the water and allow the chlorine to pass from the floating chlorine dispenser 10 into the water. In addition, if the tablet chamber 60 was filled to capacity, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber 22 allows the dispenser body 13 to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body 12 to be submerged such that the full indicator line 31 is even with the water line of the body of wafer.

As chlorine is released into the body of water and chlorine is removed from the tablet chamber 60, the weight of the floating chlorine dispenser 10 decreases. As a result, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber 22 raises the buoyancy body 12 of the floating chlorine dispenser 10 higher in the body of water. When chlorine tablets contained within the tablet chamber are fully dispensed, the buoyancy body 12 of the floating chlorine dispenser 10 will rise such that the empty indicator line 32 will be level with the surface of the body of water. The operator observing that the empty indicator line 32 is level with the surface of the body of water uses a line attached to the eyelet 30 to remove the floating chlorine dispenser 10 from the water. The operator then refills the tablet chamber 60 with chlorine tablets and returns the floating chlorine dispenser 10 to the body of water.

Although the present, invention has been described in terms of the foregoing embodiment, such description has been for exemplary purposes only and, as will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, many alternatives, equivalents, and variations of varying degrees will fall, within the scope of the present invention. That scope, accordingly, is not to be limited in any respect by the foregoing description; rather, it is defined only by the claims that follow.

Claims

1. A floating chlorine dispenser, comprising:

a buoyancy body defining a buoyancy body tablet enclosure and a buoyancy chamber adapted to provide the floating chlorine dispenser with a buoyancy force;
a dispenser body defining a dispenser body tablet enclosure, wherein the dispenser body is coupled with the buoyancy body such that the dispenser body tablet enclosure communicates with the buoyancy body tablet enclosure to form a tablet chamber, further wherein the dispenser body includes dispenser ports adapted to deliver chlorine from the tablet chamber;
a full indicator line disposed on the buoyancy body, wherein, when the tablet chamber is substantially, completely filled with chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force created by the buoyancy chamber maintains the buoyancy body within water with the full indicator line substantially, completely aligned with the surface of the water; and
an empty indicator line disposed on the buoyancy body, wherein, when the tablet chamber is substantially, completely empty of chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force created by the buoyancy chamber maintains the buoyancy body within water with the empty indicator line substantially, completely aligned with the surface of the water.

2. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, the buoyancy body, comprising an outer wall and an inner wall, wherein the inner wall defines the buoyancy body tablet enclosure, further wherein the outer wall and the inner wall define the buoyancy chamber.

3. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the dispenser body and a portion of the buoyancy body are submerged when the floating chlorine dispenser is placed in water.

4. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the dispenser ports deliver chlorine into the water when the floating chlorine dispenser is placed therein.

5. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the buoyancy body-includes an opening that communicates with the buoyancy body enclosure to allow the insertion of chlorine tablets into the tablet chamber.

6. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein the floating chlorine dispenser includes a lid that secures to the opening in the buoyancy body.

7. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, further comprising a circulation sleeve including openings, the circulation sleeve being engaged with the dispenser body and rotatable about the dispenser body between a fully closed position wherein the circulation sleeve blocks the dispenser ports and a fully open position wherein the openings of the circulation sleeve align with the dispenser ports to allow the delivery of chlorine into the water.

8. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 7, wherein rotation of the circulation sleeve between its fully open position and its fully closed position regulates the flow of chlorine into the water.

9. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein, when the tablet chamber is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows the dispenser body to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the full indicator line is even with the wafer line.

10. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein when the tablet chamber is empty, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows the dispenser body to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the empty indicator line is even with the water line.

11. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 1, wherein movement of the floating chlorine dispenser between the foil indicator line and the empty indicator line allows an operator to gauge the rate at which chlorine is dispensed into the water thereby allowing the operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser requires refilling with chlorine tablets.

12. A floating chlorine dispenser, comprising:

a buoyancy body, comprising an outer wall and an inner wall, wherein the inner wall defines a buoyancy body tablet enclosure, further wherein the outer wall and the inner wall define a sealed a buoyancy chamber adapted to provide the floating chlorine dispenser with a buoyancy force;
a dispenser body defining a dispenser body tablet enclosure, wherein the dispenser body is coupled with the buoyancy body such that the dispenser body tablet enclosure communicates with the buoyancy body tablet enclosure to form a tablet chamber, further wherein the dispenser body includes dispenser ports adapted to deliver chlorine from the tablet chamber;
a full indicator line disposed on the buoyancy body, wherein, when the tablet chamber is substantially, completely filled with chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force created by the buoyancy chamber maintains the buoyancy body within water with the full indicator line substantially, completely aligned with the surface of the water; and
an empty indicator line disposed on the buoyancy body, wherein, when the tablet chamber is substantially, completely empty of chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force created by the buoyancy chamber maintains the buoyancy body within water with the empty indicator line substantially, completely aligned with the surface of the water.

13. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein the dispenser body and a portion of the buoyancy body are submerged when the floating chlorine dispenser is placed in water.

14. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein the dispenser ports deliver chlorine into the water when the floating chlorine dispenser is placed therein.

15. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein the buoyancy body includes an opening that communicates with the buoyancy body enclosure to allow the insertion of chlorine tablets into the tablet chamber.

16. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein the floating chlorine dispenser includes a lid that secures to the opening in the buoyancy body.

17. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, further comprising a circulation sleeve including openings, the circulation sleeve being engaged with the dispenser body and rotatable about the dispenser body between a fully closed position wherein the circulation sleeve blocks the dispenser ports and a fully open position wherein the openings of the circulation sleeve align with the dispenser ports to allow the delivery of chlorine into the water.

18. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 17, wherein rotation of the circulation sleeve between its fully open position and its fully closed position regulates the flow of chlorine into the water.

19. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein, when the tablet chamber is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows the dispenser body to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the full indicator line is even with the water line.

20. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein when the tablet chamber is empty, the buoyancy force generated by the buoyancy chamber allows the dispenser body to be submerged under the water and a portion of the buoyancy body to be submerged such that the empty indicator line is even with the water line.

21. The floating chlorine dispenser according to claim 12, wherein movement of the floating chlorine dispenser between the full indicator line and the empty indicator line allows an operator to gauge the rate at which chlorine is dispensed into the water thereby allowing the operator to anticipate when the floating chlorine dispenser requires refilling with chlorine tablets.

22. A method of delivering chlorine into water, comprising:

providing a floating chlorine dispenser adapted to deliver chlorine into water, the floating chlorine dispenser including a full indicator line and an empty indicator line, wherein, when the floating chlorine dispenser is filled to capacity with chlorine tablets, a buoyancy force of the floating chlorine dispenser maintains the floating chlorine dispenser within the wafer such that the full indicator line aligns with the water line, further wherein, when the floating chlorine dispenser is empty, the buoyancy force of the floating chlorine dispenser maintains the floating chlorine dispenser within the water such that the empty indicator line aligns with the water line;
filling the floating chlorine dispenser to capacity with chlorine tablets;
placing the floating chlorine dispenser into water;
monitoring the floating chlorine dispenser in the water to determine the relationship between the empty indicator line and the water line;
retrieving the floating chlorine dispenser from the water when the empty indicator line aligns with the water line;
refilling the floating chlorine dispenser to capacity with chlorine tablets; and
replacing the floating chlorine dispenser into water.

Patent History

Publication number: 20150322683
Type: Application
Filed: May 12, 2014
Publication Date: Nov 12, 2015
Applicant: VALTERRA PRODUCTS, LLC (Mission Hills, CA)
Inventor: Kevin Edwards (Woodland Hills, CA)
Application Number: 14/275,543

Classifications

International Classification: E04H 4/12 (20060101);