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Geothermal Rescue – Closed Loop Too Small and System Won’t Cool – West Tisbury

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This is an on-going geothermal “rescue” that involves increasing the cooling and heating power of a large geothermal system.  The original system was designed for a cooling setpoint of 76 F which meant that the outside geothermal field was quite small.  Cooling the house to 72 F or 70 F was a strain on the outside geothermal field (the geothermal water got warmer and warmer) and on the aging R22 geothermal heat pumps.  During the peak heat in summer, the heat pumps would go off on faults because the incoming geothermal water temperature was too high (around 105 F).

There were two directions to take to resolve this situation – add more closed loop geothermal wells or install a fluid cooler.  Both directions would be effective in dropping the temperature of the geothermal water, but a fluid cooler was less invasive, easier to site, and ultimately less expensive.

As the project progresses, we will add more pictures and descriptions.

The equipment in the picture above is the 25 ton fluid cooler that will drop the geothermal loop temperature 10 F.  It has three cooling fans that will be driven with a variable speed drive to ensure quiet operation.

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We had to rework the inside geothermal piping near the loop circulators to accomodate the added flow necessary for the remotely located fluid cooler.

 

 

 

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We had to install a sturdy support structure of unistrut to accomodate the weight of the balancing valves.

 

 

 

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Careful alignment was necessary to get the balancing valves located correctly so that we could adjust them and yet fit all piping into a tight footprint.

 

 

 

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We were very pleased with the final result – both balancing valves were aligned and easy to adjust.

 

 

 

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The balancing valve on the left is for the existing closed loop geothermal well system and the balancing valve on the right is for the new fluid cooler.  (55 gpm and 40 gpm respectively)

 

 

 

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Once we received the fluid cooler, we opened it up for inspection.  Solid copper fins were spec’d for resistance to our salt air environment.   This fluid cooler has a capacity of 25 tons of cooling power and weighs 1300 pounds.

 

 

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We installed 1-1/2″ black poly well pipe supply and return lines from the back of the carriage house to the remote location of the fluid cooler.  Here we can see the copper pipes coming through the shingles and immediately dropping below grade.

 

 

 

 

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The fluid cooler was about 80 feet from the back of the carriage house so we had to size the circulator pump for the friction loss of the pipe and the fluid cooler. Here we are using large rocks to hold the stiff plastic pipe in place until we can backfill the trench with fill.

 

 

 

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To prepare the fluid cooler for the move to its final location, we removed the three fan blades and fan guards.

 

 

 

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We then used a Bobcat (skillfully piloted by Russell) to carefully lower the fluid cooler into its upright position.

 

 

 

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To provide the necessary rigidity during the transport to its final location, we placed a 16 foot long timber across the top of the fluid cooler and assembled ratchet straps to the timber.

 

 

 

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We carefully lifted the fluid cooler and adjusted the ratchet straps to ensure that the unit was not sagging or bowing.  The fluid cooler itself was almost all copper inside and any tweaking of the alignment of the body would result in a permanent deflection.  This we wanted very much to avoid as it would lead to broken braze joints and fan clearance issues.  Andrew Kahl looks on to ensure a straight and even lift.

 

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Russell carefully crept forward with the fluid cooler trying to minimize swinging and jerking of the fluid cooler / timber assembly.  John Cotterrill serves as Russell’s eyes for obstructions ahead.

 

 

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While the fluid cooler was being rigged and slowly transported, the NMD team was prepping the landing area with concrete blocks carefully leveled.  A lot of measurements were made to ensure that the installation of the fluid cooler could be done in one move. Mariah, Nate, and Dan did a great job of aligning all of the blocks.

 

 

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The move slowed as the Bobcat, fluid cooler, and timber approached the stone wall.  Russell had to carefully lift the fluid cooler as he was going up hill but had to minimize swaying of the unit.

 

 

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The critical part of the move was approaching as Russell started to lift the fluid cooler above the stone wall.  We had made extensive measurements of the reach of the Bobcat’s forks at different elevations but wouldn’t know for sure until we were over the wall.

 

 

 

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Russell carefully lifted the fluid cooler above the stone wall and slowly advanced with the heavy load

 

 

 

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Success!  The fluid cooler cleared the wall and we had it lined up with the landing pad.  Now we could extend the steel legs to the correct final height.

 

 

 

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Once the legs were bolted at the correct height, Russell lowered the fluid cooler onto the concrete blocks and we unstrapped the long wooden timber.

 

 

 

 

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We carefully measured the fluid cooler and determined that there was no deflection in the body and the top and sides were level and plumb – no damage to braze joints or seams.

 

 

 

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Here is a shot of fluid cooler behind the stone wall.  Enough room was left between the wall and the cooler to permit planting of shrubs and trees to further hide the unit from the driveway.

 

 

 

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We assembled a framework of strut to support the supply and return connections as they were exposed and vulnerable to damage.

 

 

 

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We made the final connections to the 1-1/2″ plastic poly supply and return pipes using the ProPress copper connection tool and fittings.

 

 

 

 

 

2017-09-29 13.31.38We completed the repiping of the Carriage House mechanical room to accomodate the installation of a fluid circulator that would move 40 gallons per minute of geothermal water through the fluid cooler.   We also installed a booster circulator in the Main House mechanical room to circulate the 40 gallons per minute from the Carriage House fluid cooler system into the main geothermal system.

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We adjusted the three cooling fans in a thermal cascade – each fan would turn on if the water was 2 degrees hotter than its setpoint.  We found that the system was able to run using only two fans for most of the summer due to our generous sizing of the fluid cooler.

 

Our goal is to be Martha’s Vineyard’s premier plumbing and HVAC shop – we appreciate the opportunity to show you some of our work.

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Given the ever-increasing impact of COVID-19, we have worked hard to determine the best way to continue to serve our customers while keeping both them and our staff as safe and healthy as possible. For us this means practicing the guidelines set in place by the Boards of Selectmen and Health. This includes a ZERO-TOLERANCE policy requiring any employees who are, or…

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About Nelson Mechanical Design (NMD)

NMD is Martha’s Vineyard “green” mechanical contractor, designing and installing just about anything to do with heating, cooling, domestic hot water, water treatment, or controls: geothermal systems, heat pump systems, fossil fueled systems, air conditioning, solar hot thermal, plumbing, well water service, water treatment, ventilation, and internet accessible control systems. In the residential world, they designed and installed the mechanical systems for…

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About Your Equipment and System

About Your System: Each of these menu topics describe the components of  the various heating, cooling, ventilation, and plumbing systems that we install and service.  Our goal is to make this part of our website a resource to better inform our customers about their equipment and systems.  When you call for service, we hope the information will assist you in describing what…

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Air Conditioning 101

The descriptions and pictures below are designed to foster a basic understanding of the parts of your air conditioning system.  When you call for service, we hope they will help you to identify those parts of your system that may need service.  When you receive an invoice from us, we hope the information below will help clarify which parts and systems we…

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Air Conditioning Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of air conditioning systems, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – How cold would you like the house to be during the summer?  We have seen customers interested in progressively colder inside temperatures – ten years ago 74 F was the norm and now folks…

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Boiler & Hydronic System Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of boilers and hydronic systems, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – Do you have propane piping already installed at your home?  We do not work with fuel oil. – What are the venting options (existing chimney, sidewall termination, chimney liner, etc.) – What…

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Contact Us

If you are a new customer in need of service, click here to expedite the process by filling out our online service intake form. If you are building a new home or renovating your existing home, click here to expedite the process by filling out our online new construction intake form. Nelson Mechanical Design (NMD) has a new phone system! After dialing 508…

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Contractor HVAC Fillable Form

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Control Systems Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of new controls systems,  please start off the process by contacting Marlon, our service manager, to discuss your goals: Some things to consider: – What systems (heating, cooling, ventilation, plumbing, etc.) do you wish to control.  We have experience with controlling just about any mechanical system. – Do you wish to add or separate heating or cooling zones?…

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Daikin Altherma Heat Pump Installation

Unfortunately, Daikin appears to have withdrawn their support for the Daikin Altherma in the United States due to low sales figures.  We have a few on the Vineyard that we have installed and we have been factory trained to service these units.  Daikin still has one tech that specializes in Altherma service and setup.  Contact our service department if you wish to…

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Emergency Services

Our emergency services are for our loyal customers of record.  If you are not a customer, please call us during our business hours to become one. Emergency contact: 508-696-3120 (24 HOURS A DAY OUTSIDE OF BUSINESS HOURS) Emergency hours:  after 4 pm Monday- Friday, anytime outside of business hours Saturday & Sunday Master Technician, $180.00 Technician, $165.00 Holiday hours: National Holidays (observed)…

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Equipment Installation Examples

These pages provide installation examples of the many different types of equipment we install in businesses and homes on the Vineyard.

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Featured System Installations

These pages show some of our finest system installations and “rescue” projects  in businesses and residences on the Vineyard.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The menu topics are representative of questions we have answered about the equipment and systems we install and service. While the laws of physics haven’t changed lately, technology is evolving constantly, and our role at NMD is to understand how this evolution affects our systems and customers.  We are constantly learning about new techniques and approaches to HVAC and plumbing systems so that…

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Furnaces & Ductwork Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of new furnaces and forced air ductwork,  please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – Do you have propane piping already installed at your home?  We do not work with fuel oil. – What are the venting options (existing chimney, sidewall termination, chimney liner,…

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Geothermal – Radiant – Rescue Team

This team specializes in service, installation, and “rescue” of the more advanced HVAC systems on the Vineyard.  At the head of this department is Brian Nelson,  who established NMD with his business partner Dave Sprague in 2004. Since then, Brian has supervised the “rescue” of over a dozen intricate HVAC systems that were underperforming, inefficient, or constantly trouble-prone.  Using his engineering background (M.S.M.E. from Boston University)…

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Geothermal System Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of geothermal systems, please start off the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – How cold would you like the house to be during the summer?  We have seen customers interested in progressively colder inside temperatures – ten years ago 74 F was the norm and…

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Heat Pump & Mini-Split Installation, Service, and Rescue

Installation: For the installation of heat pumps and mini-splits, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – Mini-splits are great for heating or cooling one room or when ganged together can handle an entire building.  Heat pumps are typically used with ductwork. – How cold would you like the house…

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Heat Pumps (Mini-Split)

Mini-splits Heat Pumps are air source heat pumps that have revolutionized heating and air conditioning around the globe – they are the fastest growing and largest part of the global HVAC market.    They can heat a room or a whole house at half the operating cost of propane heating and provide cooling and dehumidification (“dry mode”) too. We have installed and serviced all…

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Homeowner HVAC Fillable Form

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HVAC

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HVAC – Contractor Team

This team installs HVAC systems for contractors and architects in both new and remodel projects.  At the head of this department is Matthew Rivers, who has been with NMD for over five years.   Matt and his team specialize in Mitsubishi Hyper Heat and Bryant Evolution ducted systems, Renewaire ERV ventilation systems, UltraAire whole home dehumidifiers, and other high efficiency product lines. Matt understands…

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HVAC – Homeowner Team

This team installs HVAC systems for homeowners in both new and remodel projects.  At the head of this department is Tom Neadow,  who has been with NMD for over seven years.   Tom and his team specialize in new and replacement furnace and boiler systems, ducted HVAC systems, and retrofits to existing HVAC installations. Tom coordinates closely with Dave Sprague, co-owner of NMD, to ensure that…

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Indoor Air Quality & Humidification Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of humidifiers and indoor air quality systems, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – What is the size of the area that you would like to humidify?  Water vapor disperses throughout a home until equilibrium is reached.  This means that it is hard to humidify…

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Info Sheets

Below are links to PDFs we have created to provide information for various services we offer      5 Steps Before Calling                                       HVAC Maintenance                        Preventative Maintenance Overview       Preventative Maintenance Services   …

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Installation of Water Treatment Systems

As licensed Massachusetts Master Plumbers, we are allowed to design, install, and modify water treatment systems.  As necessary, we will secure a plumbing permit for the installation of the water treatment system and arrange for its inspection. After performing water testing, we will determine the best type of treatment system to install in your home. If you have an outdated existing system we can…

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Installing a new plumbing or HVAC System?

Are you installing a new HVAC system or plumbing in your home or business and need help from NMD?  Please fill out the form below and our new construction team will contact you shortly.   Thank you!

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Interested in Mini-splits?

Please fill out our mini-split intake form to jump start the process of getting mini-splits installed in your Vineyard home or business.  Everett Walsh will contact you shortly after receiving this form.  His email is projects@nmdgreen.com 

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Internet access to your home

Carrier Infinity Remote Access Touch Control (Wi-fi Touch Screen): http://www.carrier.com/residential/en/us/products/thermostats/systxccitc01-a/ “The Infinity Touch control is the key to unlocking your comfort potential. It’s also the brains behind a Greenspeed™ intelligence system. As part of a complete Infinity, communicating system, this one control can manage temperatures, humidity, ventilation, airflow, indoor air quality and up to eight zones. If your system includes a heat…

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Internet and Wifi Thermostat Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of internet and wifi thermostats, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider: – How many thermostats are existing in the home and what equipment do they control? – If they control equipment from certain brands then there may be multiple thermostat options. – What areas of…

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Island iron issues

Click on the image at left to scroll through some examples of iron issues commonly found on the Vineyard.

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Mini Split Team

This team installs mini split systems for homeowners and contractors in both new and remodel projects.  At the head of this department is Nick Lucas,  who has been with NMD for over three years.   Nick and his team specialize in Mitsubishi mini splits systems of all sizes – single zone, multi zone, branch box, and integrated and internet controlled. Nick coordinates carefully with the homeowner, caretaker, and electrician…

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Mini Split Team Test

This team installs mini split systems for homeowners and contractors in both new and remodel projects.  At the head of this department is Nick Lucas,  who has been with NMD for over three years.   Nick and his team specialize in Mitsubishi mini splits systems of all sizes – single zone, multi zone, branch box, and integrated and internet controlled. Nick coordinates carefully with the homeowner, caretaker, and electrician…

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Mini-split Case Study: One inside wall unit to one outside unit

In this case study, we will explore the design and installation of a mini-split system with one inside wall head and one outside wall unit.

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Need HVAC or Plumbing Service?

Are you in need of service on your HVAC system or plumbing?  Please fill out the form below and our service manager will contact you.  Thank you!

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Need HVAC Preventative Maintenance?

Have we installed a heating and cooling system (ducted or mini-split) at your home but haven’t provided you with preventative maintenance to keep it in top notch condition?

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Need Water Treatment Service ?

We offer extensive water treatment service options.  Please visit our water treatment pages on this site for more information. Thanks!

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New Construction Design Process – Heating, Cooling, and Ventilation

  We have built our new construction department on the foundation of our mechanical design abilities. This is one of our favorite services to offer – we can calculate and specify exactly what heating, cooling, ventilation, and indoor air quality system your home or building requires to be comfortable and energy efficient.   Mechanical systems will not operate at their highest efficiency…

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NMD Showcase

Featured System Installations Projects for Non Profits and NMD Concepts Equipment Installation Examples

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Plumbing and DHW Installation, Service, “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of plumbing and domestic hot water systems, please start the process by contacting Dave Sprague in our new construction department to discuss your goals. Some things to consider:  Is this a new construction plumbing project or a retrofit?  Plumbing fixtures have become more and more specialized and their selection and installation require a great deal of care and attention…

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Plumbing Fillable Form

Please complete the form below for Plumbing Installations

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Plumbing Team

This team installs plumbing systems for homeowners and contractors in both new and remodel projects.  At the head of this department is Paul Vertefeuille,  who has been with NMD for over six years.   Paul is Master Plumber, licensed in Massachusetts, and is able to design and install rough and finish plumbing in both residential and commercial settings. Paul coordinates closely with Dave Sprague, co-owner of NMD,…

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Preventative Maintenance

Preventative Maintenance: All mechanical systems need maintenance to operate correctly during their expected lifespan.  We offer a wide range of preventative maintenance services based on  the manufacturer’s guidelines and adjusted for the Vineyard environment.   Some of these services are optional and depend on the occupancy of the home or business; others are essential for the correct operation of the equipment. Please…

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Preventative Maintenance Flat Rate Pricing

To you, our valued customer, we have put together some simple flat rate pricing for the preventative maintenance of your plumbing and HVAC systems in your home.  We realize that some customers want a brief check on all systems, while other customers need or require a visit that is more in depth.  The packages below will cover this wide range of preferences. …

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Privacy Policy

Nelson Mechanical Design, Inc. does not share client contact information or information about their properties.  We respect our client’s privacy and the security of their personal information and homes.

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Products

Our role is to install and service the most reliable and modern heating, cooling, ventilation, air quality, plumbing, and water treatment equipment available.  We serve as an essential filter for our customers – determining what innovations are worth pursuing and what new products we can stand behind.  This requires a constant commitment to training the NMD team so that we know how…

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Projects for Non Profits and NMD Concepts

We support the efforts to build affordable housing here on the Vineyard.  We have donated time and money to the various housing groups to aid their important work to create long term stability through affordable housing.  Some of our recent affordable housing installations are shown below. Over the years, we have developed some concepts that merit further investigation.  As we move towards…

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Resources

Frequently Asked Questions: The menu topics are representative of questions we have answered about the equipment and systems we install and service.   While the laws of physics haven’t changed lately, technology is evolving constantly, and our role at NMD is to understand how this evolution affects our systems and customers.  We are constantly learning about new techniques and approaches to HVAC…

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Service Fillable Form

Are you in need of service on your HVAC system or plumbing?  Please fill out the form below and our service manager, Marlon Dwyer, will contact you.  Thank you!

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Service Team

Our service team is ready to help our customers service their HVAC, plumbing, water treatment, ventilation, and control systems around the clock.  Our normal service hours are from 8 am to 4 pm.  After that we have on-call personnel to attend to our customers’ emergency needs.  If you have a need for service after our business hours, please call 508-696-3120 and follow…

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Services

Installation, Service, and “Rescue” We offer installation, service, and “rescue” for practically anything and everything involving heating, cooling, ventilation, indoor air quality, plumbing, water treatment, and internet access in your home or business.  We have installation teams that focus on new construction projects (new air conditioning, heat pumps, ducted furnaces, boilers, mini-splits, etc., etc.,),  we have service teams that are able to troubleshoot,…

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Solar Hot Water Installation, Service, and “Rescue”

Installation: For the installation of new solar hot water systems,  please start off the process by contacting Marlon, our service manager, to discuss your goals: Some things to consider: – Will the solar system heat domestic hot water? –  Will it be used for space heating? –  Solar hot water panels are either flat-plate collectors or evacuated tube collectors.  Each approach has…

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Terms & Conditions

Please review the following items about our billing process, payment, service teams, and other important aspects of NMD.  Once you accept these Terms and Conditions (by clicking Submit at the bottom), we will be able to assist you with your service needs or a new plumbing and HVAC project.  

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  Service team training Service team in action Brian Nelson in action! Service Team Adventures! Service team specialized tools Service team battles rodents!

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Thank you for your inquiry!

We appreciate your interest in our services and installations!  We look forward to working with you towards meeting your HVAC and plumbing needs.  Our goal is to respond quickly to your query – we try to respond via phone or email the same day for service queries and within a few days for new construction projects.   If you are inquiring about…

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The History of Water on Martha’s Vineyard

Living on Martha’s Vineyard comes with many wonders and struggles.  Water quality can be one of those struggles.  The water on the Vineyard varies tremendously based on the different layers of rock and sediment left by the receding ice sheet 10,000 years ago.  So levels of iron, manganese, and other minerals as well as acidic or basic water can vary dramatically from…

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Water Softener Systems (Brine Tanks)

There are a few instances where you may need a water softener, sometimes referred to as a brine tank, added to your treatment system. If you have an acid neutralizer currently installed and you are suffering from soap scum or scaling you may need to have a softener added. When installing new acid neutralizer systems we generally install a softener to give…

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Water Treatment Installation and Service

We are starting our Water Treatment Promotion!  Learn more.… The History of Water on Martha’s Vineyard Living on Martha’s Vineyard comes with many wonders and struggles.  Water quality can be one of those struggles.  The water on the Vineyard varies tremendously based on the different layers of rock and sediment left by the receding ice sheet 10,000 years ago.  So levels of…

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Water Treatment Preventative Maintenance

Your water treatment system works hard to provide you with clean safe drinking water. It is a “living” system, that means that it is constantly getting fresh water from your well that has a unique make-up, each system is different and handles your specific water in different ways. It is important that you get regular maintenance, whether it be iron or acidic water…

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Water Treatment Promotion Page

This is our Water Treatment Promotion!  Please fill out the info below to start the process with NMD.

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Water Treatment Systems for Acid Neutralization (Low pH)

All of our water treatment products are safe and natural. Your acid neutralization system will raise your ph by using Calcite. Calcite is a naturally occurring calcium carbonate media, otherwise known as Georgia Marble. One of the advantages of Calcite is its self-limiting property.  When properly applied, it corrects pH only enough to reach a non-corrosive equilibrium. It does not over correct under…

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Water Treatment Systems for Iron Removal and Reduction

For customers suffering from issues with iron in their water, we offer the PROVECTR Plus line from Watersoft. All our products and are safe and natural, providing a chemical-free water treatment. A typical iron system will include an air compressor: this injects air into your water and allows the ferrous iron to oxidize and form ferric oxide, which is then a larger…

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Water Treatment Team

This team services and installs water treatment systems in both residential and commercial settings.  Our two water treatment experts are Nick Rivers and Nick Moreis.   Their team has received factory training from Watersoft, the leading water treatment manufacturer in the US. The water treatment team performs periodic maintenance on existing systems and “rescue” work on systems that are not working correctly.   Typically…

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What We Test for in your Water

Your water should be crystal clear and free from chemicals, odors, bad tastes and hardness. However, water quality varies from home to home, and there are many common water problems that can cause your water to appear cloudy, have a bad smell or taste, stain and water-spot fixtures, or even shorten the life of your pipes and appliances. Testing your water is…

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Who We Are

Check here for all that is new at Nelson Mechanical Design.  You will find our latest promotions, Constant Contact emails, articles about us that have appeared in local and national press, articles about our team members, and features on our innovations in the HVAC and plumbing fields.

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Why Choose NMD for your HVAC project with a contractor, builder, or architect?

When you call the HVAC-Contractor team at NMD for a quote on a new heating and air conditioning system for your new home or renovation project, the follow steps happen: Matt Rivers and David Sprague will arrange a site visit to your property or office to review the plans for the project and discuss and what the client needs are in terms of…

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Why Nelson Mechanical Design?

David Sprague and Brian Nelson started Nelson Mechanical Design in 2004 with a commitment to Martha’s Vineyard – we will provide the best service to our customers,  provide stable, long term careers to our people, and support the fabric of our island home.  

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