Repairng the Aldes VMP-K mechanical ventilation fan/housing
From: Fred-List manager (
Date: Wed, 1 Jan 2014 07:03:10 -0800 (PST)
Richart Keller <richart.keller [at]>
is the author of the message below.  It was posted by
Fred, the Cohousing-L list manager <fholson [at]>
after reformating the message a bit and saving the attachments at:  which contains:
   649764 Understanding your ventilation system Blackfeet.pdf
   412673 VMPKINSTALL.pdf
   571242 vmpk.pdf
--------------------  FORWARDED MESSAGE FOLLOWS --------------------

Some older cohousing communities have a form of mechanical ventilation
provided by an Aldes VMP-K system, commonly referred to as the
"octopus" due to its appearance at the exhaust fan housing.

I'm just finishing reinstalling our fan and housing after disassembling it
and having the motor bearings replaced.

Since these units are aging and beginning to wear, I thought that I'd
pass along some of what I learned in the process, and some referrals,
since this model is obsolete and parts for the fan (except for
bearings for the fan motor) and its housing are no longer available.

If the motor on yours is beginning to sound a bit noisier than usual,
its time to have the bearings replaced.

    This can and should be done before the motor burns out (that nasty
loud grinding noise usually precedes the final burnout...)

1) If you are willing and able to dismantle the housing and remove the
motor (with fan still attached) the bearing replacement can be done by
a local machine shop.  While its dismantled, you can use the
opportunity to clean the ports and the inside of the housing.

    A word of caution when doing this work: the housing is very
brittle and easily cracked.

    For those mechanically inclined, this is not a particularly
difficult job; it just requires considerable care in handling it so as
not to break anything in the disassembly, temporary storage, cleaning,
and reassembly processes.

2) There are also two alternatives for those less ambitious:

      Dennis Dietz of Ventilation Advisors, LLC, will provide a quote
for either
    a) a replacement housing/fan system, new with 3 year warranty, or
    b) for having the existing VMPK fan rebuilt and the housing and
fan cleaned by them.

    In the latter case, he encourages clients to send the unit intact
and very carefully packed.

      Dennis can be reached at or through email
(drdietz941 [at] or you can call him at (941) 730-6271.

      I understand that Dennis was involved in the design and
installation of many of these systems in the late 1980's through the
1990's, including at a number of cohousing communities. He is very
accessible and knowledgeable. I found his guidance invaluable as I
worked on mine.

Dennis is still working part-time at American Aldes:

Dennis Dietz, Engineering
American ALDES Ventilation Corporation
4521 19th Street Court East, Suite 104
Bradenton, FL 34203
(941) 351-3441
Fax (941) 351-3442
email: dennis.dietz [at]

Also, attached are some information pieces on the Aldes VMP-K system which
Dennis emailed to me.

Hope this is useful--feel free to contact me if you have other questions


Richart Keller, AICP
Pioneer Valley Cohousing
120 Pulpit Hill Road #25
Amherst, MA 01002
401 486-2677 (cell)
(richart.keller [at]

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