28 years of fluid management experience
The thing I enjoy most about working at Great Lakes Pump is the people. I am surrounded by knowledge and patience and it makes for an extremely comfortable environment.
I will never forget my first job in the water pump industry was with a small mom and pop, family owned, sales and repair shop, owned by a good friend’s older brother. I was 19. When my friend was moving on, it just so happened that I was looking for a job, and he spoke to his older brother on my behalf. My first day, my friend was showing me around the very small shop, and he gave me one insanely bad piece of advice. He said, “Don’t learn anything about irrigation pumps or you’ll have to work on those too.”
I am far too curious to sit on my hands and play dumb. How boring life would have been had I listened to him. 28 years and thousands of pumps later, I find that I know next to nothing… It seems like it anyway, as I learn something new nearly every day.
I frequently find I am surprised by something new and unknown in this incredibly technical field. Pump technology hasn’t changed much, relatively speaking, since John Appold invented the curved vane impeller in 1851, yet I keep learning.
One of the coolest projects in my career was in 2014, when I was called by a special effects company to size some pumps for a project titled “Milo and Sage.” They needed to create rain and a waterfall. I worked with them for a few days, sizing and quoting a couple of centrifugals to fill both roles.
After they took delivery and set their test system up, I received a call from the SFX lead for the film and he was pretty upset. The pumps weren’t pumping! So, I went through the usual troubleshooting questions: Did you prime the pumps? Are they rotating the right direction? Are the valves on? All answers were yes.
He was getting impatient, so I calmed him down and told him to grab a 9/16” wrench while I had him on the phone. I then instructed him to remove the plug at the top of the casing. “Did you hear air escaping when you removed the plug?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. I told him to put the plug back in and fire the pump up. All frustration melted away when the pumps took off and he had a waterfall worthy of the movie “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” “Milo and Sage” was the super-secret working title.