Our History

How it Started

Founded by Mike D. Kennedy, Gull Industries was established in 1974.The company’s primary focus was designing and installing solar pool hot water and home heating systems. With tax credits fueling the growth of the industry in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Gull Industries grew from an employee base of 5 to 25 people with a yearly gross of 1.8  million dollars.Enthusiastic projects included the world’s first solar heated and cooled winery (David Bruce Winery in the Santa Cruz mountains). The first solar heated home in Milpitas, California to have a combination of home, pool and hot water in one system. The mayor was present for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

In 1984 with the loss of the tax credits to support solar heating, I knew that the only way to survive was to enter the manufacturing and distribution business. I sold my construction business and with the revenue I bought a failing solar equipment manufacturer. Gull Industries soon became a full-time manufacturer of solar collectors and established a dealer network. To this day Gull remains northern California’s largest producer of solar collectors for heating pools and hot water.

To expand operations in the solar off season (November through February), Gull created a division called The Water Connection. The Water Connection provides tools, supplies, and specialized techniques to the plumbing industry to extend the life of water heaters well beyond their average 8-13 years of life cycle.

The philosophy is simple: If maintained properly, water heaters will last a lifetime and never end up in a landfill. To date, 185 plumbing and service contractors have added additional revenues to their gross by adding water heater maintenance to their yearly service agreements.

Water Connection are true “green” companies providing solar heating, energy conservation, and education to the industry and public.