Businessman takes sump pumps into 21st century
Device calls, e-mails owner of any operation failures
by Keith Beebe
ELBURNâ€”Who would have thought the term â€œnecessity is the mother of inventionâ€ could actually apply to a sump pump? Yet, that is exactly what happened when Dan Gierke had a need for a backup sump pump.
â€œWe found there wasnâ€™t much of a choice out there, and having an electronics and computer programming background, (I) decided to put something together,â€ said Gierke, who owns Nexpump in Elburn.
Gierke invented a sump pump that calls and e-mails its owner if any part of the pump is failing to operate. The pump also performs self-tests every 12 hours on its battery condition, notification module and even the phone line, greatly minimizing the risk of flooding and water damage.
â€œSay the water sensor on sump pump units besides ours becomes disconnected or damaged,â€ Gierke said. â€œWell, you are not made aware of this condition, and the sump pump will never turn on (because) it canâ€™t sense the water. (Our sump pump) has a second sensor that will take over and also lets you know thereâ€™s an issue.â€
The pumpâ€™s artificial intelligence comes from its use of state-of-the-art micro controllers, which allow the pump to think critically and make decisions. The unit will cycle its pumps if any of the water sensors are not functioning and will even act as a virtual water sensor if all of the actual sensors are disabled.
Also, as if the notification system wasnâ€™t enough, the unit also has an LCD display that will list any issues the pump is experiencing.
â€œWe think we have taken the sump pump to the next level with advanced electronics, software that has been refined over the years, and taking a â€˜what happens whenâ€™ attitude, meaning we try to figure out what we can do to minimize the risk of flooding when conditions are changing for the worst,â€ Gierke said.
Gierke said that the public has shown strong interest in the advanced sump pump, which is available in plumbing-supply stores in Illinois and on the Internet.
â€œOur dual pump has come through during worst-case scenarios for many people, and I think our support is by far the best in the industry,â€ he said. â€œWeâ€™ve started where the industry left off and took sump pumps into the computer age.â€