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Poor hot water / heating performance
I purchased a townhome with a hydronic heating system and it has never been a good performer if the temp dips below 40º outside (happens a lot in WA). I've had a couple of people come out over the last couple of years, look at the system and tell me things seemed to be working OK. I'd begun to chalk it up as a poor system choice for the layout of the house.
I'm new to this and the builder left ZERO information on the system or the requirements used to design it. The system uses a water heater running the hot water through a recirc pump / aquastat (Armstrong 25BU) and plastic tubes to four zones in the house (living room, kitchen, and the two bedrooms). Each zone has an in-wall fan controlled by its own thermostat (heat radiates from the coil with or without the fan blowing air into the room). That, unfortunately, is all I've been able to find about the system.
Lately, performance seems to be even worse. The water out of the faucets in the house is hot enough, but it takes a while to get that way. It is currently in the 50s in the lowest floor of the house. Warm-ish air is blowing out of the fan downstairs.
A plumber came by last week and said he thought the recirc pump impeller was shot and needed replacement, to the tune of $1000. I held off because, in my mind, even when we moved in the system wasn't doing all that well... so perhaps a more capable pump would help (instead of a direct replacement).
So, I started trying to do some research to understand the requirements of the system and whether or not a more capable pump would help, but the builder has been completely unresponsive, so it looks like I have to do this on my own.
Is anyone out there able/willing to walk a newbie through this? Just let me know if there's any other information I can provide and I'll pass it along if I can get it.
Thanks in advance!