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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

Original Air Date: Week of March 25, 2006

Up in the loft, tile expert Joe Ferrante shows host Kevin O'Connor the proper way to cut several different types of tile. Then, general contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner with a wet basement install a sump pump. Back in the loft, Tom and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey discuss emergency backup systems for sump pumps.

Cutting ceramic and stone tile
Up in the loft, tile expert Joe Ferrante shows Kevin some tricks and techniques for cutting tile. He first shows how to use a carbide-tipped pencil and nippers for scoring and cutting tile. He also shows dual-grit rubbing stone that is used for smoothing rough edges on ceramic tile. Joe then shows a scoring and snapping tool, which consists of a sliding wheel and an adjustable fence for making perpendicular or angled cuts. He then shows how to make an "L-cut" around an electrical outlet. For this, Joe uses an electric wet saw made especially for cutting tile. The machine is similar to a table saw used in carpentry. A reservoir of water helps keep the diamond blade cool and reduce dust. Joe then shows how to make circular cuts in tile using a cordless drill and a tungsten carbide-rimmed hole saw made especially for tile.

Where to Find It
Joe showed a tile-cutter that features a sliding cutting wheel, an adjustable fence, and a fulcrum for snapping the tile.
Manufacturer: Superior Tile Cutter, Inc.
1556 W. 134th St.
Gardena, CA 90249

The Superior Tile Cutter is several suppliers, including:

The electric wet saw is manufactured by WorkForce (model#THD550). It costs about $90 and is available at The Home Depot. Tile Nippers (Model#32015) and other tile tools are manufactured by:
Q.E.P. Co., Inc.

The carbide-tipped "pencil" is a Tile Edge® Ceramic Tile Cutter (model#H-1), manufactured by:
TeCam Corporation

The ceramic tile hole saw (model#356) is available from:
Beno J. Gundlach Company

Joe also showed a stone for smoothing rough edges on tile. These stones are made of various abrasive materials and are available at your local home center or tile supplier.

Installing a sump pump
Tom helps a homeowner install a submersible sump-pump to help relieve hydrostatic pressure underneath her basement floor. Tom begins by determining where to locate the pump. He then takes a sump basin, turns it upside-down, and traces the circuference onto the concrete floor. Tom and the homeowner then use an electric jackhammer to break up the concrete and then dig a pit deep enough to accept the plastic basin. Tom cuts off the bottom of the basin and inserts the basin into the sump pit on top of a layer of filter fabric. The hole in the bottom of the basin and filter fabric will allow water to enter from underneath without clogging the pump with silt. They then add crushed stone around the basin to keep it upright. Tom then puts some crushed stone and a paver inside the basin to prop up the pump to the desired height and keep gravel from getting sucked inside. Tom then installs a check-valve to prevent water that has been pumped out from reentering the pit. Tom then cuts a hole in the framing above the pump for a discharge pipe that will carry water to the outside of the house. He then glues and assembles the parts for the discharge pipe and fastens it to the foundation wall with brackets and masonry fasteners. Finally, Tom trowels concrete over the crushed stone and feathers it to blend with the surrounding floor. Back in the loft, Tom and Richard show Kevin two types of "backup" sump pumps. One operates off of a 12-volt marine battery and another is powered by city water pressure.

Where to Find It
RIDGID (model#SP-500)

Sump pumps and the other tools and materials for this project (including PVC pipe, brackets, check valves, and jackhammers) can be purchased or rented at you local home center.

Up in the loft, Tom and Richard showed two types of emergency backup sump pump systems. A 12-volt marine "deep-cycle" battery powers one and another is powered by city water pressure.

Battery-powered backup sump pump (with alarm): Aquanot II manufactured by: Zoeller Pump Co.

Water-powered backup sump pump:
Guardian Emergency Back Up Sump Pump (model#747H20) manufactured by: A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co.

Tom also showed a perforated sump basin. It is manufactured by:
AK Industries, Inc.

B-Dry System M/E, Inc. (an independent licensee of B-Dry Systems, Inc.)

Urell, Inc.

Little Giant Pump Company
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
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