Ask This Old House

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Season 4 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 4"
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Episode #426
Installing a mini-split air conditioning system, what is it?, de-thatching a lawn… more
Episode #425
Cutting ceramic and stone tile, installing a sump pump … more
Episode #424
Replacing an old dishwasher, what is it?, sharpening a wood chisel, using lawn spreaders… more
Episode #423
Replacing an interior "hollow-core" door with a new "solid-core" door, repairing a leaky kitchen faucet… more
Episode #422
Repairing stripped threads on a cast-iron radiator, fixing a grading problem, what is it?, stabilizing a wobbly newel post, refinishing an old cast-iron bathtub… more
Episode #421
Installing an instantaneous water heater, planting trees to save energy, installing cellulose insulation … more
Episode #420
Installing a granite driveway marker, what is it, repairing a hot water radiator system … more
Episode #419
Building a custom radiator cover, installing a steam humidifier in a forced-air heating system … more
Episode #418
Transplanting a white spruce tree, what is it?, extending a staircase handrail … more
Episode #417
Repairing a residential well, repairing a hole in vinyl siding … more
Episode #416
Choosing and using hammers, repairing a pressure-assisted toilet, repairing a plastered wall … more
Episode #415
Installing a low cost in-ground sprinkler system, what is it?, pouring a concrete footing for a deck … more
Episode #414
Installing a radon mitigation system, pruning an apple tree for fruit production… more
Episode #413
Installing a new vinyl floor, what is it?, preventing frozen pipes… more
Episode #412
Washing windows like a pro, what is it?, flushing an electric water heater… more
Episode #411
Snowthrowers, what is it?, where to find it… more
Episode #410
Pruning an overgrown privet hedge, installing a new basement laundry sink … more
Episode #409
Viewer tips, re-shingling a garage roof using asphalt-fiberglass shingles… more
Episode #408
Circular saw 101, what is it?, installing a new outdoor faucet using PEX, cabling an oak tree to prevent splitting… more
Episode #407
Removing and preventing moss, algae and lichen from a roof, what is it?, repairing a leaky water valve, planting shade-tolerant ground cover under a European Beech tree … more
Episode #406
Building a raised garden bed with landscape timbers, clearing a bathtub drain. … more
Episode #405

Original Air Date: Week of November 3, 2005

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook heads to Grandview, Missouri to help a homeowner care for an ailing rose bush. Then Roger, along with general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Up in the loft, Richard shows Kevin a number of ways to steady a wobbly toilet. Then, Tom helps a homeowner prevent water from leaking through a hole in his foundation into his basement.

Caring for a rose bush
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner in Grandview, Missouri rescue her ailing rose bush. He identifies the variety of rose bush as "Dr. Huey"and begins by cutting away a metal tomato cage and a vertical, wooden trellis. He then prunes the bush by removing old, dead, or weak branches with a pruning saw. He then removes the old, dead flowers with bypass pruners, a process called "dead-heading." Then, Roger installs a new horizontal section of cedar fencing so the plant will grow horizontally, allowing it to produce more flowers in the spring. He then ties the canes to the fence with jute twine and applies mulch around the base of the bush to prevent weeds and retain moisture.

Where to Find It
Technical assistance for this project was provided by:
American Rose Society

American Horticultural Society

Materials for this project were provided by:
Bannister Garden Center
10001 E Bannister Rd
Kansas City, MO 64134

Master Halco, Inc.

What is it?
Roger showed a plastic cylinder that allows a user to pick up pinecones without having to bend over.

Where to Find It
It is manufactured by: CONE-I-VORE

How to steady a wobbly toilet
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows host Kevin O'Connor several different ways to prevent leaks at the base of a toilet. Richard first shows how to prevent a toilet from rocking back-and-forth by using plastic shims, coins, or washers made of brass or stainless steel. A wobbly toilet can cause the toilet's closet flange to break, causing a leak. Richard then shows different products available for repairing or replacing a broken closet flange. Finally, he shows wax rings and spacers used for getting a tight seal between the toilet and closet flange.

Where to Find It
Shims, wax rings, closet flanges and repair kits are available at your local home center or plumbing supply house.

Plugging a basement water leak using hydraulic cement
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner plug a hole in his foundation that is allowing water to leak into his basement when it rains. The leak was occurring around a drainpipe exiting the house through a foundation wall. The homeowner had attempted to repair the leak by pushing hydraulic cement into the opening around the pipe, but that repair failed. Tom begins a new repair by removing the hydraulic cement using small sledgehammers and cold chisels. He then removes material from an even older patching job and removes some rotting wood that once served as a form around the pipe. Tom fills the bulk of the opening with pieces of rubble and then stuffs new hydraulic cement into the opening around the pipe. The cement expands between the drain pipe and the wall opening and hardens in just a few minutes, making a watertight seal around the pipe.

Where to Find It
Expanding or "hydraulic"cement is available at your local home center.

More information about hydraulic cement and instructions for a similar project can be found at:
Episode #404
Repairing a flat wheelbarrow tire, repairing an aluminum rain gutter, viewer tips, installing a thermal expansion tank … more
Episode #403
Installing an under-sink water filter, planting a drought-resistant tree.… more
Episode #402
Quieting creaky stairs, static cling solution, and installing an electric shut-off valve for a washing machine … more
Episode #401
Repairing a mortared stone walkway, patching an oak floor… more