Terry Jones, president of Wilder Winnelson, moved his plumbing supply house into a new building in April 2016 with big plans, but a tight budget. Part of the Winsupply family, with nearly 600 locations in 45 states, the company has served plumbers, builders and homeowners in its namesake Kentucky hometown for nearly 20 years.
For Jones, a critical component of providing value to these customers was to include working product displays, so that visitors could make informed purchase decisions. These displays would include shower heads, kitchen sinks and a hot tub, among other fixtures.
Jones’ budget, however, didn’t allow much room to splurge on plumbing these displays. “The building we moved into had all-concrete floors, meaning we would have had to break them open to run conventional plumbing,” he explains. “Not only would that have been costly, but also labor-intensive and messy.”
An alternative plumbing solution quickly came to mind for Jones, a line he had stocked for roughly seven years: above-floor packaged grinder pumps from Saniflo. These units can handle both wastewater and solids from multiple fixtures, pumping them to a drain line. Because all the plumbing is above the floor, no busting through concrete was necessary, thereby saving time and money.
Given the multiplicity of fixtures in his showroom, Jones decided to install two different grinder pump models. For his first display, which includes three shower heads, and six kitchen sinks, Jones chose the Sanicubic 1: a 1-HP, packaged pump system with a heavy-duty grinder that can handle up to 50 gallons per minute. The unit pumps the wastewater a distance of 30 horizontal feet and 8 vertical feet to the drain line.
Jones’ second display, which includes a whirlpool tub, steam shower and three toilets, needed something even more heavy-duty — in case all the fixtures ever needed to drain at once. The Sanicubic 2 packaged pump system ended up being the perfect solution. It has two, 1-HP motors that take turns handling the wastewater, so that neither is more heavily used over time than the other. When both operate, the discharge rate increases by roughly 80 percent. In the second Wilder display, the Sanicubic 2 pumps the wastewater a distance of 23 horizontal feet and 8 vertical feet to the drain line.
After successful installations in both of these displays, completed by Jolly Plumbing, Jones was persuaded to undertake a third and final application.
“We needed to drain the sink in the employee kitchen, so we hooked up a Saniswift,” he explains. The powerful, high efficiency pump allows plumbing fixtures to be installed virtually anywhere. In Jones’ application, the unit pumps effluent a distance of 10 horizontal feet and 8 vertical feet to the drain line. “It’s a very convenient little pump,” Jones says.
In all, Jones estimates he saved roughly $5,000 by not having to bust through concrete to drain these various applications. “It was a very affordable solution to get these plumbing displays up and working for my customers,” says Jones, who has reaped yet another benefit: “These pumps not only serve my working displays, but become working displays themselves, since we stock them on our shelves.”
As a result, customers now get maximum value out of their showroom visits, seeing not only how the various fixtures operate, but also how the above-floor pumps work in the background to drain them.