Ask This Old House

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Season 4 Show Descriptions

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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

Original Air Date: Week of March 11, 2006

General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner replace an interior "hollow-core" door with a heavier, more attractive, "solid-core" door. Then, up in the loft, Tom and host Kevin O'Connor cut several doors in half to reveal how different types of doors are constructed. Then, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Philadelphia to repair a leaky kitchen faucet. Afterward, back in the loft, Richard shows Kevin several types of kitchen faucets and a few tips on repairing them.

Replacing an interior hollow-core door with a new solid-core door
Tom helps a homeowner replace an old "hollow-core" door with a new "solid-core" model. The bathroom had a door with no panels, otherwise known as a "flush door." The existing door had only a thin plywood skin on each side, was very lightweight, and didn't provide much sound deadening. The new door is heavier because its core is made up of compressed sawdust and glue. Tom begins by removing the old door and hinges. He then uses the old door as a reference for making mortises for the hinges on the new door. After chiseling out the mortises, Tom screws the new hinges onto the door. He then cuts the new door to the proper length using a circular saw and straight edge. Tom then uses wood scraps and glue to fill the screw holes in the door jamb before installing the other half of the new hinges. He then uses a holesaw and a special jig to bore holes for the doorknob and latch. After installing the lockset, Tom positions the door in place and inserts the pins into the hinges, completing the installation.

Where to Find It
Hollow-core, solid-core and block-core doors were provided by:
J&C Adams Co., Inc.

Interior doors of all types can also be purchased at your local home center or lumber yard.

Tom installed a new interior lockset manufactured by:

The jig that Tom used to bore the holes for the lockset (item no. 3111002) is manufactured by:

Irwin Tools

Repairing a leaky kitchen faucet
Richard visits a homeowner in Philadelphia with a leaky kitchen faucet. The homeowner explains that whenever the faucet is on, water leaks from where the spout meets the base of the faucet. Richard determines that the reason for the leak is that the faucet's o-rings are worn out and need to be replaced. He begins by closing the shut-off valves underneath the sink. Richard then removes the faucet's "index" cap to reveal a screw underneath. He then removes the screw and pulls off the faucet's handle. He then unscrews the cap assembly and pulls the spout off. Richard then removes two rubber o-rings and installs two new ones. Before reassembling the faucet, he lubricates the o-rings with waterproof grease to prolong their life. Then, back in the loft, Richard shows how to disassemble several other common types of kitchen faucets.

Where to Find It
The kitchen faucet that Richard repaired is manufactured by Kohler, model number K-12175. For more information on repair parts and new fixtures, contact: Kohler

O-rings and other kitchen faucet repair parts can also be purchased at your local plumbing supply house or home center.
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
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