US20090183438A1 - Debris removal gutter system - Google Patents

Debris removal gutter system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20090183438A1
US20090183438A1 US12/009,666 US966608A US2009183438A1 US 20090183438 A1 US20090183438 A1 US 20090183438A1 US 966608 A US966608 A US 966608A US 2009183438 A1 US2009183438 A1 US 2009183438A1
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channel
rotation
gutter system
orientation
axis
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Abandoned
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US12/009,666
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William Lloyd Walker
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William Lloyd Walker
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Priority to US12/009,666 priority Critical patent/US20090183438A1/en
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04DROOF COVERINGS; SKY-LIGHTS; GUTTERS; ROOF-WORKING TOOLS
    • E04D13/00Special arrangements or devices in connection with roof coverings; Protection against birds; Roof drainage; Sky-lights
    • E04D13/04Roof drainage; Drainage fittings in flat roofs, balconies or the like
    • E04D13/076Devices or arrangements for removing snow, ice or debris from gutters or for preventing accumulation thereof
    • E04D13/0765Cleaning tools

Abstract

A gutter system is provided. The gutter system may include a channel that is capable of catching water from a roof. A mounting member may be present and may be configured for at least partially supporting the channel. The channel may be rotationally mounted to the mounting member so that the channel is capable of rotating with respect to the mounting member. The channel can have a force applied thereto in order to thus rotate about an axis of rotation so that debris present in the channel will fall from its interior and thus effect a cleaning of the channel.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to gutter systems. More particularly, the present application involves a debris removal gutter system that includes a channel capable of being rotated so that debris present in the channel can fall therefrom in order to effect a cleaning of the channel.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Gutter systems are used for catching water at the edge of a roof of a structure. Water flowing down the roof will fall into and collect in a channel of the gutter system. The channel may be arranged at an incline so that water present therein will flow along the length of the channel to a desired location. Water may flow out of an end of the channel to the ground below, or may flow out of a downspout placed into fluid communication with the channel so that the water is thus transported to a desired location. Gutter systems are effective in diverting water flow so that water accumulation does not occur adjacent the wall of a structure for eventual damage thereof.
  • Channels of gutter systems often become littered with debris such as shingle particles, leaves, branches, trash and the like. One common chore of the homeowner is the removal of debris from his or her gutter system in order to prevent clogging of the gutter system and to ensure normal functioning. The homeowner can access the channel of the gutter system by climbing onto the roof of the structure or by climbing onto a ladder positioned adjacent or onto the channel. Such techniques may result in injury due to a fall from the roof or ladder. Additionally, such cleaning techniques may not be possible by people of limited mobility. As such, there remains room for variation and improvement in the art.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A full and enabling disclosure of the present invention, including the best mode thereof, directed to one of ordinary skill in the art, is set forth more particularly in the remainder of the specification, which makes reference to the appended Figs. in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of a gutter system in accordance with one exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 1 in which the channel is rotated into an orientation allowing for the removal of debris therefrom.
  • FIG. 3 is a front elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 5 is a front elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 4 in which the channel is rotated into an orientation allowing for the removal of debris therefrom.
  • FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the gutter system taken along line 8-8 of FIG. 7.
  • FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the gutter system of FIG. 7 in which the channel is rotated into an orientation allowing for the removal of debris therefrom.
  • FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 11 is a top plan view of a gutter system in accordance with one exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 12 is a side elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 11.
  • FIG. 13 is a side elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 11 in which the channel has been rotated ninety degrees.
  • FIG. 14 is a side elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 11 in which the channel has been rotated into an orientation allowing for the removal of debris therefrom.
  • FIG. 15 is a top plan view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 16 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 16-16 of FIG. 15.
  • FIG. 17 is a cross-sectional view of the gutter system of FIG. 15 in which the channel has been partially rotated.
  • FIG. 18 is a cross-sectional view of the gutter system of FIG. 15 in which the channel has been rotated into an orientation allowing for the removal of debris therefrom.
  • FIG. 19 is a side elevation view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • FIG. 20 is a front elevation view of the gutter system of FIG. 19.
  • FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional view of a gutter system in accordance with another exemplary embodiment.
  • Repeat use of reference characters in the present specification and drawings is intended to represent the same or analogous features or elements of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF REPRESENTATIVE EMBODIMENTS
  • Reference will now be made in detail to embodiments of the invention, one or more examples of which are illustrated in the drawings. Each example is provided by way of explanation of the invention, and not meant as a limitation of the invention. For example, features illustrated or described as part of one embodiment can be used with another embodiment to yield still a third embodiment. It is intended that the present invention include these and other modifications and variations.
  • It is to be understood that the ranges mentioned herein include all ranges located within the prescribed range. As such, all ranges mentioned herein include all sub-ranges included in the mentioned ranges. For instance, a range from 100-200 also includes ranges from 110-150, 170-190, and 153-162. Further, all limits mentioned herein include all other limits included in the mentioned limits. For instance, a limit of up to 7 also includes a limit of up to 5, up to 3, and up to 4.5.
  • The present invention provides for a gutter system 10 that includes a channel 12 that can collect and transport water from the roof of a structure. The channel 12 is arranged so that it can be rotated with respect to the structure in order for debris 54 present in the interior 44 of the channel 12 to fall. The channel 12 can be reoriented back into its water catching orientation for subsequent use. The rotation of the channel 12 can be effected in a variety of manners. The channel 12 can be rotated from its water catching orientation such that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces the portion 46 of the wall proximate to the gutter system 10 or so that the channel 12 faces away from the portion 46 upon rotating the channel 12 to an orientation in which debris 54 therein is capable of falling therefrom.
  • One exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10 is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3. As shown, the gutter system 10 includes a channel 12 that is rotationally mounted to a mounting member 24 that is in turn connected to a wall 16 of a structure. The gutter system 10 is arranged in such a manner that water flowing from the roof 14 of the structure is capable of flowing into the channel 12 for subsequent transfer to a desired location.
  • The channel 12 has a semi-circular cross section, although it is to be understood that the shape and configuration of the channel 12 is only exemplary and that various shapes and configurations are possible in accordance with other exemplary embodiments. The channel 12 is arranged so that an end 18 is located proximate to the wall 16 of the structure when the channel 12 is positioned in the water catching orientation as shown in FIG. 1. The channel 12 has a remote end 20 that is opposite the end 18 that is positioned remote from the wall 16 of the structure when the channel 12 is in the water catching orientation. An interior surface 52 of the channel 12 extends between the ends 18 and 20 and an interior 44 of the channel 12 is defined. Debris 54 may collect in the interior 44 of the channel 12 though normal operation. Debris 54 can be leaves, branches, material from roof 14, trash or the like. The debris 54 is problematic in that it may function to prevent the flow of water through the channel 12 or may be transported out of the channel 12 to other areas that may become subsequently clogged with the debris 54 initially present in channel 12.
  • The channel 12 may be reoriented so that it is turned upside down in order to allow debris 54 present in the channel 12 to fall therefrom as shown with reference to FIG. 2. Although shown as being completely inverted so that the interior surface 52 of channel 12 faces the ground, the channel 12 can be rotated any degree from its water catching orientation so that debris 54 is capable of falling therefrom. For example, the channel 12 may be rotated up to forty five degrees from its water catching position in accordance with certain exemplary embodiments. Alternatively, the channel 12 may be rotated from one hundered and twenty to two hundred and twenty degrees from its initial water catching position in accordance with yet other exemplary embodiments.
  • The channel 12 rotates about an axis of rotation 26 that is located at the remote end 20 of the channel 12. The channel 12 can be rotationally mounted to the mounting member 24 in a variety of manners. For example, a spindle can extend from the channel 12 for receipt within the mounting member 24. Alternatively, an axle may extend the length of the channel 12 for receipt within the mounting member 24. Bearings may be used to enhance the rotational connection between the channel 12 and the mounting member 24 in certain exemplary embodiments.
  • The gutter system 10 in FIGS. 1-3 includes an engagement member 22. The engagement member 22 is rigidly attached to the channel 12 so that the relative position between the channel 12 and the engagement member 22 does not change, as may be observed upon comparison of FIGS. 1 and 2. The engagement member extends upwards and outwards from the channel 12 and has one end of a line 30 attached thereto. A force may be applied to line 30 for subsequent application to the engagement member 22. For example, a force F, as shown in FIG. 2, applied to the line 30 causes the engagement member 22 to rotate such that the channel 12 is likewise rotated about the axis of rotation 26. The channel 12 rotates in the exemplary embodiment illustrated in a direction from the water catching orientation such that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces away from a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate the mounting member 24. The force F may be applied to such a degree that the channel 12 is completely inverted as shown in FIG. 2 so that the debris 54 present can fall out of the interior 44. The engagement member 22 can be configured so that a desired mechanical advantage is realized upon placement of the attachment point of line 30 a desired distance from the axis of rotation 26.
  • The mounting member 24 is rigidly attached to the wall 16 and does not change positions during rotation of the channel 12. Any suitable attachment mechanism may be employed. For example, the mounting member 24 may be bolted, stapled, adhered, welded or nailed to the wall 16. Further, the mounting member 24 may be rigidly attached to the roof 14 and/or wall 16 in accordance with various exemplary embodiments. The mounting member 24 may be fixed to the structure so that it does not rotate or move relative thereto. The mounting member 24 includes a pair of rounded portions that function to more easily allow the line 30 to traverse across the mounting member 24 during rotation of the channel 12. However, in accordance with other exemplary embodiments the line 30 need not engage the mounting member 24. The line 30 can be any object capable of imparting a force to the engagement member 22. For example, line 30 may be a rope, chain, string, cable, or rod in accordance with various exemplary embodiments. The line 30 may be flexible or non-flexible in accordance with various exemplary embodiments.
  • A spring 28 may be included in the gutter system 10 and can be connected to both the mounting member 24 and the channel 12. However, the spring 28 may be connected to other components of the gutter system 10 in other embodiments. The spring 28 biases the channel 12 back into the water catching orientation. As such, release of force F on the line 30 causes the spring 28 to pull the channel 12 from the orientation illustrated in FIG. 2 back into the orientation illustrated in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the spring 28 need not be present in accordance with other exemplary embodiments. For example, a force may be applied by the line 30 or by another component so that the channel 12 is rotated back into the water catching orientation.
  • The gutter system 10 in the exemplary embodiment shown has an end support 42. the end support 42 functions to stop the rotational movement of the channel 12 once it is flipped from the location shown in FIG. 2 back into the water catching orientation shown in FIG. 1. In this regard, the channel 12 can rotate clockwise, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, and fall until it hits the end support 42 and stops. The end 18 of channel 12 contacts the upper surface of the end support 42 when the channel 12 is in the water catching orientation. The end support 42 also functions to support the end 18 so that the channel 12 does not sag or otherwise become deformed during use. The end support 42 may be present along the entire length of the channel 12 or may be present along only a portion or portions of its length. End support 42 can be a single component or may be made of multiple components in accordance with various exemplary embodiments.
  • Although shown in FIG. 3 as being located on only one side of the channel 12, various components of the gutter system 10 such as the mounting member 24, engagement member 22, line 30, and/or spring 28 may be included on both sides of the channel 12. In this regard, mounting members 24 may be present on both sides of the channel 12 and may be identical in shape and configuration or may be shaped or configured differently from one another. In a similar manner, another line 30 may be included at the opposite end of the channel 12 as shown in FIG. 3 and can be actuated in conjunction with the first line 30 or alternatively to the first line 30 in order to effect rotation of the channel 12. As such, the gutter system 10 as described herein can have additional, identical or other alternative components located on both sides of the channel 12.
  • The line 30 may be actuated by a user in a number of different manners in order to effect rotation of the channel 12 so that debris 54 can fall therefrom. In accordance with one exemplary embodiment, line 30 extends from the engagement member 22 to ground level or within reach of a person on the ground. The person may simply grasp the line 30 and apply a force F thereto in order to actuate the channel 12. The user may thus apply a force to the gutter system 10 in order to rotate the channel 12 and thus clean the channel 12 without having to leave the ground. FIG. 10 shows one exemplary arrangement of the gutter system 10 in which the line 30 extends from the engagement member 22 to a winch 38. The line also extends across a directional pulley 36 that can be mounted to the structure to which the gutter system 10 is employed. A user may manually turn the winch 38 so that line 30 is rolled up thereon. The user can turn the winch 38 until the channel 12 has rotated into a desired position so that debris 54 can fall therefrom. A motor may alternatively be arranged with the winch 38 so that it can be automatically turned in order to take up the line 30. Winch 38 can be mounted to the side of the structure or may be located onto the ground next to the structure to which the gutter system 10 is employed.
  • An additional exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10 is shown in FIGS. 4-6. Here, the channel 12 is rotationally mounted to the mounting member 24 that is in turn rigidly arranged with respect to the wall 16. The axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12 extends through a location that is substantially at the halfway point between ends 18 and 20. In accordance with certain exemplary embodiments, the axis of rotation 26 is at the midpoint of the channel 12 such that it is equal distance from the ends 18 and 20. The axis of rotation 26 is located at a position that is below the top of the ends 18 and 20 such that the axis of rotation 26 is located in the interior 44 of the channel 12. However, other exemplary embodiments are possible in which the axis of rotation 26 is located vertically above the top of ends 18 and 20 when the channel 12 is positioned in the water catching orientation. Still further embodiments are possible in which the axis of rotation 26 is located below the bottom of the channel 12 when the channel 12 is oriented in the water catching orientation.
  • A line 30, that is a chain 60, is used to impart motion to the channel 12 in FIGS. 4-6. In this regard, a first gear 32 is mounted onto the channel 12, spindle extending from the channel 12, axle or other object such that the first gear 32 turns with the channel 12. The chain 60 is wrapped around the first gear 32 and extends downwards to a second gear 34. A crank 62 is located at the ground next to the structure to which the channel 12 is oriented. A user may turn crank 62 in order to rotate the second gear 34 such that chain 60 is moved. Movement of chain 60 is translated into rotation of the first gear 32 such that the first gear 32 in turn rotates the channel 12. The channel 12 may thus be rotated as desired by the user in order to have debris 54 present therein removed. Although described as being a hand crank 62, a motor may be incorporated so that the chain 60 may be moved automatically as desired.
  • The channel 12 can be rotated in a clockwise direction with reference to FIG. 4. In this regard, the channel 12 can be rotated from the water catching position so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to the mounting member 24 once the channel 12 leaves the water catching position and before debris 54 falls therefrom. The direction of rotation in this exemplary embodiment is thus opposite the direction of rotation of channel 12 previously described and illustrated with respect to FIGS. 1-3 and 10. The channel 12 is capable of rotation so that it can be completely inverted as illustrated in FIG. 6 so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces the ground. Once the debris 54 has been adequately removed, the user can reverse the direction of turning of crank 62 so that the chain 60 is moved in a reverse direction. This movement will cause the first gear 32 to turn in the reverse direction so that the channel 12 will be moved back to the water catching position. However, other arrangements are possible in which the crank 62 can continue to be turned in the same direction as it was turned upon moving the channel 12 into the position shown in FIG. 6. As such, the channel 12 can complete a full 360° turn so that it is once again positioned back into the original, water catching position.
  • The gutter system 10 in FIGS. 4-6 can also be arranged so that the channel 12 can initially rotate in the same direction as that previously discussed with respect to the exemplary embodiments in FIGS. 1-3 and 10. Here, crank 62 can be actuated so that the channel 12, initially in the water catching position, turns so that the interior 44 of channel 12 faces away from a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to where the channel 12 is located. The channel 12 can continue to be turned in the same direction until debris 54 are capable of dropping therefrom. Although shown and described as being completely inverted, it is to be understood that the channel 12 need only be rotated to such a degree that some or all of the debris 54 can fall therefrom. As such, the channel 12 need not rotate a full 180° in accordance with various exemplary embodiments.
  • An alternative exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10 is shown in FIGS. 7-9. Here, the channel 12 is capable of being rotated about an axis of rotation 26 that is located at the remote end 20 of the channel 12. The channel 12 is rotationally mounted to and can rotate relative to the mounting member 24. A spring 28, that in this instance is a torsion spring, biases the channel 12 into the water catching position. As shown with reference to FIG. 8, the torsion spring 28 functions to urge the channel 12 about the axis of rotation 26 so that the top of the channel 12 is pushed up against the bottom of an end stop 56. The position of end stop 56 is fixed with respect to the mounting member 24 and structure to which the gutter system 10 is attached. The end stop 56 can be rigidly affixed to the mounting member 24, roof 14 or wall 16 in accordance with certain exemplary embodiments. The spring force of torsion spring 28 is such that it urges the channel 12 securely against the end stop 56 and prevents vibration or rattling from occurring.
  • When a user desires a self-cleaning function be performed on the gutter system 10, a motor 40 is actuated in order to turn the channel 12 about the axis of rotation 26. The motor 40 may be coupled to a spindle, axle or other member that engages the channel 12 and allows the channel 12 to pivot with respect to the mounting member 24. The torsion spring 26 can also engage the channel 12 at the spindle, axle or other member that allows the channel 12 to pivot with respect to the mounting member 24. The motor 40 may be supported by the mounting member 24 and can be actuated at a remote location. For example, a control switch can be located inside of the structure to which the gutter system 10 is installed. The motor 40, in addition to any of the previously described motors in the present application, can be an electric motor or may be a hydraulic or pneumatic motor in accordance with certain exemplary embodiments. Actuation of motor 40 supplies a turning force to channel 12 sufficient to overcome the torsional bias of the torsion spring 28. Channel 12 will thus be moved out of the water catching position illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 will face a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to the channel 12. The motor 40 can continue to apply a turning force to channel 12 until it reaches a completely inverted orientation as shown with reference to FIG. 9. At such time, the channel 12 can be held for a predetermined amount of time so that the inner surface 52 of the channel 12 faces the ground and debris 54 is allowed to drop therefrom. In accordance with certain exemplary embodiments, the channel 12 can remain inverted in the position shown in FIG. 9 from fifteen to thirty seconds.
  • The motor 40 may be configured so that it stops providing a turning force to the channel 12 to thus allow the channel 12 to be forced back into the normal, water catching orientation shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this regard, the force applied by the motor 40 can be minimized so that the counteracting force of torsion spring 28 is sufficient to overcome the motor 40 force and rotate the channel 12 backwards. Alternatively, a clutch or other component may be utilized in the gutter system 10 to disengage the motor 40 force from the spindle, axle or other member engaging the channel 12 and the mounting member 24. Once disengaged, the channel 12 will swing in a reverse position due to the application of a turning force from the torsion spring 28.
  • An alternative exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10 is shown with reference to FIGS. 11-14. In this exemplary embodiment, the axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12 is located at the remote end 20 of channel 12. A line 30 is attached to the channel 12 at a location of the channel 12 close to the wall 16. An engagement member 22 is shown extending from the side of the channel 12 a short distance. The line 30 can be attached to the engagement member 22 through a rigid or rotating connection. A spring 28 is attached to the channel 12 and to the mounting member 24. In other embodiments, the spring 28 can be attached to the channel 12 and to the structure to which the gutter system 10 is installed. The spring 28 is biased so as to draw the channel 12 against an end stop 56. In this manner, the top of the end 18 of channel 12 contacts the bottom of the end stop 56 and is prevented from further rotating about the axis of revolution 26. However, in accordance with other exemplary embodiments, the end stop 56 need not be present. For example, the spring 28 can be arranged so that the channel 12 is pulled against the spring 28 to thus be prevented from further rotating. As shown in FIG. 11, springs 28 are located on opposite sides of the channel 12. However, as previously mentioned, certain exemplary embodiments exist in which a spring 28 is located on only one side of the channel 12.
  • A user may grasp line 30 and apply a force F thereon in order to pull the channel 12 from the water catching orientation. FIG. 13 shows the channel 12 after it has rotated approximately 90°. The channel 12 rotates from the water catching orientation so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to which the channel 12 is mounted. The user may continue to apply a Force F to the line 30 which in turn will pull the channel 12 into the inverted position shown in FIG. 14 so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces the ground allowing and debris 54 present in channel 12 to fall therefrom. The spring 28 may be arranged so that once a certain point is reached in the rotation of the channel 12 the spring 28 acts to pull the channel 12 into the inverted position. A second stop 58 is present and is mounted to the mounting member 24. The bottom of the channel 12 engages the bottom of the second stop 58 and is prevented from further rotating about the axis of rotation 26. In this position, the spring 28 functions to draw the channel 12 against the second stop 58 and prevent the channel 12 from rotating out of the inverted position. The user may relax his or her grip on the line 30 for a desired amount of time so that debris 54 can fall out of the channel 12.
  • Once the user desires to rotate the channel 12 back into the water catching orientation, a force F may be applied by the user onto line 30. The user can walk toward the structure or otherwise position the line 30 so that the force F is applied in the direction as shown in FIG. 14. This application of force F functions to rotate the channel 12 out of the inverted position of FIG. 14. At a certain point, the force applied by the spring 28 will act to draw the channel 12 back into the water catching position initially illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12. At this time, the user may relax his or her grip on the line 30 as the application of force F is no longer needed. The line 30 may be a line that can be grasped by a user as the arrangement requires a change in the orientation of the force F applied to the line 30 depending upon the desired direction of travel of the channel 12. However, it is to be understood that an appropriate mechanism may be arranged at the ground or on the structure to allow for the line 30 to be actuated in the required directions to enable rotation of the channel 12.
  • The channel 12 may need to be arranged with other elements in the gutter system 10 of the structure so that water falling into the channel 12 can be appropriately directed. For example, a downspout 48 is often employed with cross-channels 12 that lay along the perimeter of the roof 14 of the structure. In one version, the channel 12 may have an open end and the downspout 48 can be located at the open end of the channel 12. Water in the channel 12 can flow out of the open end of the channel 12 and into the downspout 48 that is located next to the open end of the channel 12. In this manner, the channel 12 can be rotated while the position of the downspout 48 remains fixed with respect to the structure. In other arrangements, however, the downspout 48 is located at some point along the length of the channel 12 as illustrated, for example, in FIG. 15. Water may accumulate in the channel 12 on both sides of the downspout 48 and drain therein for subsequent transfer down the downspout 48 to a desired location away from the structure. In such instances, the downspout 48 may be rigidly connected to the structure while the channel 12 is desired to be rotated thus requiring an appropriate connection between these two elements.
  • In order to accommodate interaction between the fixed downspout 48 and the rotating channel 12, a downspout fill-in component 50 can be employed. The downspout fill-in component 50 extends from the mounting member 24 and has a curved portion that fits into the channel 12 so as to in effect form a portion of the interior surface 52 of the channel 12. The channel 12 thus has a complete interior surface 52 so that water in channel 12 can be drained into the downspout 48 as desired and does not seep out of the channel 12 at any other part. Rotation of the channel 12 is illustrated in FIG. 17. Here, the channel 12 rotates about the axis of rotation 26 that is located at the remote end 20. The channel 12 has an opening or removed portion proximate to the downspout 48 and located between the downspout 48 and the wall 16 of the structure to which the gutter system 10 is attached. This opening thus allows the channel 12 to be rotated so that the fixed downspout 48 does not interfere therewith. FIG. 18 shows the channel 12 rotated into a completely inverted orientation. The downspout fill-in component 50 remains rigidly attached to the mounting member 24 and does not rotate with respect to the channel 12. The channel 12 can be returned back into the water catching orientation so that the curved portion of the downspout fill-in component 50 is again received into the opening of the channel 12 to thus complete the interior surface 52 of the channel 12.
  • The arrangement described in FIGS. 15-18 can be used with any of the various mechanisms described in the present application that allow the channel 12 to be rotated in order to allow debris 54 to be removed therefrom. However, it is to be understood that the arrangement illustrated in FIGS. 15-18 need not be employed with various exemplary embodiments of the gutter system 10 as desired. In accordance with certain exemplary embodiments, the channel 12 may rotate from the water catching orientation so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces away from the portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to the channel 12. This direction of initial rotation is opposite to the direction illustrated in the exemplary embodiment in FIGS. 15-18. In these instances, the downspout fill-in component 50 can be arranged so as to form a portion of the interior 44 of the channel 12 on an opposite side of the downspout 48 from that illustrated in FIGS. 15-18 in order to accommodate the reversed direction of channel 12 movement.
  • FIGS. 19 and 20 show another alternative exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10. As shown, an end of the channel 12 is mounted to an engagement member 22. The channel 12 may be welded, integrally formed therewith, or attached to the engagement member 22 through the use of mechanical fasteners in accordance with various exemplary embodiments. The engagement member 22 has a disk shaped portion 64 that has an axis of rotation that is coaxial with the axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12. The mounting member 24 extends from the structure to which the gutter system 10 is attached and rotationally mounts the engagement member 22 thereto. The axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12 is located between the ends 18 and 20 of the channel 12. Further, the axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12 is located above the ends 18 and 20 of channel 12.
  • The engagement member 22 includes a projecting portion 66 that extends from the disk shaped portion 64. An end of line 30 can be attached to the projecting portion 66. Line 30 may extend from the projecting portion 66 and may engage and be received within a groove on the outer surface of the disk shaped portion 64. Line 30 can be retained around a directional pulley 36 and may be attached to a winch 38 that is motorized or hand actuated. Alternatively, the line 30 can be simply pulled by a user or arranged in various manners are previously discussed. A force can be applied to the line 30 in order to effect rotation of the channel 12. In this regard, the channel 12 will be rotated from the water catching orientation so that the interior 44 of the channel 12 faces away from a portion 46 of the wall 16 proximate to the channel 12. The channel 12 can be continually rotated to a position so that debris 54 may fall therefrom. A spring 28 engages and urges the disk shaped portion 64 back into the water catching orientation. In this manner, force may only be needed to be applied to the line 30 in a single direction to effect rotation. The force can be removed or reduced in degree so that the spring force from spring 28 can urge the engagement member 22 and thus channel 12 back into the water catching orientation.
  • The exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 19 and 20 has a plurality of rollers 68 that engage the bottom of the channel 12. The rollers 68 can extend from either the mounting member 24 or from the structure to which the gutter system 10 is employed. The channel 12 can have a curved bottom surface to accommodate rotation of the channel 12. The plurality of rollers 68 support the channel 12 along its length. The rollers 68 can have an axis of rotation that is located directly below the axis of rotation 26 of the channel 12. In accordance with certain exemplary embodiments, rotation of the channel 12 need not be effected by the line 30 or engagement member 22 which need not be present. Here, the plurality of rollers 68 may be motorized. Actuation of the rollers 68 will cause the channel 12 to be rotated about the axis of rotation 26. The direction of rotation of the rollers 68 can be reversed in order to swing the channel 12 back into its original position.
  • FIG. 21 illustrates an alternative exemplary embodiment of the gutter system 10. In this exemplary embodiment, the channel 12 has a round outer surface. A groove 70 is present on the outer surface of the channel 12 that is configured for receipt of the line 30. An engagement member 22 extends from the remote end 20 of the channel 12. The engagement member 22 may be integrally formed with the channel 12 or may be a separate component that is attached thereto. An end of line 30 is attached to the engagement member 22 in order to urge the channel 12 to rotate about the axis of rotation 26. The direction of rotation of the channel 12 can be the same as that previously described with respect to the exemplary embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3 and 10.
  • The groove 70 is provided in order to provide a smooth running of the line 30 across the bottom surface of channel 12 when the channel 12 is rotated in order to remove debris 54. The groove 70 may extend along the entire outer surface of the channel 12, or may extend around a portion thereof. For example, the groove 70 can be sized so that it extends around the portions of channel 12 that are contacted by the line 30 during turning of the channel 12.
  • As previously mentioned, the various components of the gutter system 10 are typically shown as being on one side of the channel 12 in the described embodiments. It is to be understood, however, that the various components can be located on both sides of the channel 12 in accordance with various exemplary embodiments. Such an arrangement may provide additional stability to the gutter system 10 or may provide a back up or alternative means of actuation of rotation of the channel 12.
  • While the present invention has been described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it is to be understood that the subject matter encompassed by way of the present invention is not to be limited to those specific embodiments. On the contrary, it is intended for the subject matter of the invention to include all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as can be included within the spirit and scope of the following claims.

Claims (20)

1. A gutter system, comprising:
a channel configured for catching water from a roof, the channel configured for having an end located adjacent a wall of a structure and an opposite end located remote from the wall of the structure when the channel is located in an orientation for catching water from the roof;
an engagement member attached to the channel, wherein the relative position between the engagement member and the channel does not change; and
a mounting member configured for at least partially supporting the channel, wherein the channel is rotationally mounted to the mounting member such that the channel is capable of rotating with respect to the mounting member, wherein the channel rotates about an axis of rotation that is located at the remote end of the channel, wherein the engagement member is configured for having a force applied thereto in order to rotate the channel about the axis of rotation from the water catching orientation to an orientation in which debris present in the channel is capable of falling therefrom.
2. The gutter system as set forth in claim 1, further comprising a line attached to the engagement member, wherein a force is capable of being applied to the line so as to be applied to the engagement member to effect rotation of the channel about the axis of rotation.
3. The gutter system as set forth in claim 2, wherein the line is a chain, and further comprising at least one gear in communication with the chain, wherein rotation of the gear effects movement of the chain.
4. The gutter system as set forth in claim 2, further comprising:
a pulley that engages the line and changes the direction of the line; and
a winch that is attached to the pulley and is capable of being turned in order to apply force to the line.
5. The gutter system as set forth in claim 2, further comprising a motor capable of being actuated in order apply force to the line for subsequent application to the engagement member in order to effect rotation of the channel.
6. The gutter system as set forth in claim 2, wherein the channel has a round outer surface and defines a groove thereon, wherein at least a portion of the line is disposed in the groove of the channel.
7. The gutter system as set forth in claim 1, further comprising an end support mounted to the structure, wherein the end of the channel adjacent the wall of the structure when in the water catching orientation rests on top of and is supported by the end support, wherein the channel is configured for being rotated out of the water catching orientation about the axis of rotation in a direction such that the interior of the channel does not face the portion of the wall of the structure proximate to the channel when the channel rotates from the water catching orientation to an orientation in which the interior of the channel is directed downwards.
8. A gutter system, comprising:
a channel configured for catching water from a roof, the channel configured for having an end located adjacent a wall of a structure and an opposite end located remote from the wall of the structure when the channel is located in an orientation for catching water from the roof; and
a mounting member configured for at least partially support the channel, wherein the channel is rotationally mounted to the mounting member such that the channel is capable of rotating with respect to the mounting member, wherein the channel rotates about an axis of rotation that is located at the remote end of the channel;
wherein the channel is configured for being rotated out of the water catching orientation about the axis of rotation in a direction such that the interior of the channel faces the portion of the wall of the structure proximate to the channel after the channel begins to rotate from the water catching orientation to an orientation in which debris present in the interior of the channel is capable of falling out of the interior of the channel.
9. The gutter system as set forth in claim 8, further comprising:
a spring configured for urging the channel to the water catching orientation; and
an end stop that remains stationary with respect to the mounting member during rotation of the channel, wherein the end of the channel adjacent the wall of the structure when the channel is in the water catching orientation contacts the bottom of the end stop and is prevented from further rotating about the axis of rotation such that the channel remains in the water catching orientation.
10. The gutter system as set forth in claim 9, wherein the spring is a torsion spring, and further comprising an electric motor capable of applying force to the channel so as to effect rotation of the channel about the axis of rotation.
11. The gutter system as set forth in claim 9, further comprising a line attached to the channel for imparting a force thereto in order to effect rotation of the channel about the axis of rotation, wherein the line is configured for being grasped by a user for application of a force at least partially towards the wall of the structure, and wherein the line is configured for being grasped by a user for application of a force at least partially away from the wall of the structure.
12. The gutter system as set forth in claim 9, further comprising a second stop configured for limiting rotation of the channel about the axis of rotation.
13. The gutter system as set forth in claim 8, wherein the channel is placed into communication with a downspout such that water in the channel is capable of being transferred into the downspout for removal therefrom, wherein the entry point of the downspout is located between the ends of the channel, and further comprising a downspout fill-in component that remains stationary with respect to the mounting member and functions so as to fill-in a portion of the inner surface of the channel when the channel is placed in the water catching orientation.
14. A gutter system, comprising:
a channel configured for catching water from a roof, wherein the channel has a pair of ends with an interior located therebetween;
a mounting member configured for at least partially supporting the channel, wherein the channel is rotationally mounted to the mounting member such that the channel is capable of rotating with respect to the mounting member, wherein the channel rotates about an axis of rotation that is located between the ends of the channel, wherein the channel is configured for being rotated about the axis of rotation from the water catching orientation to an orientation in which debris present in the channel is capable of falling therefrom.
15. The gutter system as set forth in claim 14, further comprising:
a gear; and
a chain capable of rotating the gear, wherein rotation of the gear causes rotation of the channel about the axis of rotation.
16. The gutter system as set forth in claim 15, further comprising a second gear capable of being rotated in order to move the chain so as to effect rotation of the first gear in order to cause the channel to rotate.
17. The gutter system as set forth in claim 16, wherein the first gear is rotated automatically by a motor.
18. The gutter system as set forth in claim 16, wherein the first gear is rotated manually by a hand actuated crank.
19. The gutter system as set forth in claim 14, wherein the axis of rotation is located above the ends of the channel when the channel is in the water catching orientation.
20. The gutter system as set forth in claim 14, further comprising:
an engagement member rotationally mounted to the mounting member, wherein the axis of rotation of the engagement member is coaxial with the axis of rotation of the channel, wherein the engagement member is rigidly attached to the channel such that rotation of the engagement member effects rotation of the channel, wherein the engagement member has a disk shaped portion the center of which is located at the axis of rotation of the engagement member, and wherein the engagement member has a projecting portion that extends from the disk shaped portion;
a line attached to the projecting portion of the engagement member, wherein the line is capable of having a force imparted thereon in order apply a force to the projecting member so as to effect rotation of the channel; and
a plurality of rollers that are located along the length of the channel and engage the bottom of the channel in order to support the channel when the channel is in the water catching orientation.
US12/009,666 2008-01-22 2008-01-22 Debris removal gutter system Abandoned US20090183438A1 (en)

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Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20110067319A1 (en) * 2009-08-26 2011-03-24 John Harrison Anthony Rain Gutter Rotation System (RGRS)
US8689492B2 (en) * 2008-04-03 2014-04-08 RRTK Enterprise, Inc. Motorized rotating gutter
CN107119862A (en) * 2017-06-19 2017-09-01 常州大学 A kind of sponge city eaves drip pan
US10344481B2 (en) 2017-07-17 2019-07-09 Daniel J. Song Self-cleaning gutter system

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US8689492B2 (en) * 2008-04-03 2014-04-08 RRTK Enterprise, Inc. Motorized rotating gutter
US20110067319A1 (en) * 2009-08-26 2011-03-24 John Harrison Anthony Rain Gutter Rotation System (RGRS)
CN107119862A (en) * 2017-06-19 2017-09-01 常州大学 A kind of sponge city eaves drip pan
US10344481B2 (en) 2017-07-17 2019-07-09 Daniel J. Song Self-cleaning gutter system

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