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


Original Air Date: Week of December 29, 2005

General contractor Tom Silva heads to New York's "lower east side" to help a pair of apartment-dwellers install a new vinyl floor. Then Tom, along with plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscaping contractor Roger Cook and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, up in the loft, Richard shows Kevin a few ways to prevent plumbing pipes from freezing in the winter and the proper way to thaw pipes if they do freeze.

Installing a new vinyl floor
Tom helps a pair of New York City roommates cover up their old kitchen floor with a new vinyl one. After removing the refrigerator, they get to work prying off the old threshold between the kitchen and living room and remove a short piece of baseboard molding. Tom then makes a paper template that he'll use to transfer the shape of the floor onto both the luan plywood underlayment and vinyl finished floor. Tom then fills a large void in the old floor with a floor-patching compound. After tracing around the paper template, Tom cuts the underlayment with a circular saw and installs it using ring-shank nails. He then uses the same template to trace around the vinyl flooring and cuts it using a knife with a hook-shaped blade. Tom then installs the vinyl floor using a notched trowel and adhesive around the floor's perimeter. A new baseboard and metal threshold complete the project.

Where to Find It
The vinyl sheet flooring and floor patching compound were manufactured by:
Armstrong Flooring
800-233-3823

Technical assistance provided by:
Apollo Distributing Company
973-228-5000 or 866-294-1800

The other tools and materials for this project, including scribing felt, luan plywood, and hook-blade knives, may be purchased at a flooring store, lumber yard, or home center.

What is it?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to Find It
Tom showed a pneumatic device that holds clapboard siding against a wall, allowing one person to install it easily.

Little Green Sucker manufacturered by: Keico, LLC
770-957-7235

Preventing frozen pipes
Up in the loft, Richard shows host Kevin several options for preventing and thawing frozen pipes. Richard recommends stopping the movement of cold air around a pipe by sealing outside penetrations using expanding foam or caulk. He then shows a type of electric heat tape that can be used to keep pipes warm, but recommends only using it as a last resort. Richard shows foam pipe insulation and explains the proper way to cut and install it. In the event a pipe freezes, Richard recommends leaving the faucet open while trying to thaw the pipe. To thaw a frozen kitchen pipe, Richard suggests opening the bottom cabinets to allow warm air to reach the pipe. He also says that careful use of a temporary space heater, hair dryer or heat gun may thaw the pipes. Richard says to never use a torch to unfreeze pipes because of the fire danger it presents. Finally, Richard shows an electric device used by plumbers to thaw a pipe that's inaccessible to a homeowner.

Where to Find It
Pipe insulation is manufactured by:
FrostKing
800-299-5700

and
Armacell
Electrical heating tape is manufactured by:
Easy Heat, Inc.
800-562-6587
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
Caring for a rose bush, how to steady a wobbly toilet, plugging a basement water leak using hydraulic cement.… more
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