Chris Gray & the Story of Island Pump & Power
If you’ve spent any time hanging around this corner of the internet, then you’re probably familiar with Chris Gray, our fearless leader and the engine behind Island Pump and Power. You’re probably also aware of Perimeter Drainage, the mainland arm of our company that’s still going strong, keeping homes powered and having a blast building residential drainage solutions in, around, and through the mountains of North Vancouver and beyond.
But for the moment this ain’t about the past. It’s about the future.
“Use the camera and go up the other side,” Chris Gray’s phone rings no less than four times over the course of our two hour hang-out session to get to the bottom of the new company, Island Pump & Power. I urge him to answer each time, but the one time he does answer, however, is a perfect time to start this profile.
“Towards the garage. There’s a pipe you have to reach, a ’T’, have a look there because I’m a little concerned about contamination from the neighbour. Their oil tank burst a long time ago so let’s be sure we’re free and clear.”
A Busy Guy in a Busy Business
I’ve worked with Chris for a couple years now telling the story of Perimeter Drainage and now Pump & Power on the island, the mainland, and the Fraser Valley. The phone calls are normal. It’s up to me to ask the right questions and then sit back and listen.
Chris and his team have over two decades of experience keeping basements dry and job-sites safe. It’s a way of life at this point, and like a bubbling BC stream, it’s fascinating to watch the natural ebb and flow of Chris’s projects.
“Island Pump & Power is really just about understanding the demanding conditions placed on us by our surroundings, our climate, and our environment,” Chris says about the secret to Pump & Power. “Which isn’t easy if you’re not intimately involved with those conditions every single day. Most people don’t worry about their basements flooding until it actually happens. I worry about it every single day. That’s a big part of why we’re expanding to the island under the Pump & Power banner.
“Pump and Power is really about focusing on the talents of our company. We’re one of the top pump companies out there. Pump stations and power outages come with generators and they’re becoming mainstream so we’ve been working with them a lot more. It makes a huge difference for people and their drainage systems at their home.”
Chris and his team are so passionate about their industry, and truth be told, they make my life easier because it’s so interesting to write about all the unique and crazy things they see and work on.
“We have guys training intensively to do maintenance on the pumps once they’re installed, so that’s a reality now that the newness is starting to fade. Hey, once you install your own, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to fix someone else’s or an old one that a different company installed years ago.”
What’s the difference between Island Pump & Power and Perimeter Drainage, other than the location of their home base?
“We’re doing a lot more ongoing maintenance with recurring clients with Pump & Power. It’s more of a focus on skilled work, interesting work. Perimeter Drainage is more of a broad stroke.”
“There’s a definite need for generators and solutions on the island. There are electricians who put in generators and a lot of them do a great job but it’s not their main focus. To me it’s a no-brainer. If you pump water, you need emergency power.”
“Otherwise you might as well go to Vegas and put everything on black.”