Ask This Old House

Find more information on Ask This Old House episodes, or more information on products and services you saw on Ask This Old House.

Ask This Old House does not endorse any product or service mentioned within this Web site.

Season 5 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 5"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #526
Building a Workbench and What Is It?… more
Episode #525
Lawn Mowing and Edging Basics, What is it?, Repairing and maintaining electric water heaters, Repairing a broken stair tread … more
Episode #524
Replacing a damaged mailbox post,Repointing Brickwork … more
Episode #523
Installing a new radiator/towel bar warmer, What is it?, Controlling crabgrass … more
Episode #522
Replacing a corroded shut-off valve with a "compression" fitting, What is it?, Selecting and planting "climbing" roses … more
Episode #521
Installing composite decking with hidden fasteners, Quieting a noisy steam radiator… more
Episode #520
Replacing a Shub, What is it?, Installing a roof-mounted attic fan… more
Episode #519
Refinishing cast-iron radiators, Installing a standby electric generator… more
Episode #518
Patching a damaged vinyl floor, What is it?, Repairing a leaking in-ground sprinkler system… more
Episode #517
Shopping for and installing wall-to-wall carpet, What is it?, Table saw safety… more
Episode #516
Removing an overgrown Juniper bush, Coiling an extension cord, Replacing a pop-up assembly in a pedestal sink … more
Episode #515
Clearing clogged drains, What is it?, Install Kitchen Cabinets… more
Episode #514
Prune a willow tree, fix a hot-water heater… more
Episode #513
Mulching, Sash Balancers … more
Episode #512
Shower Valve, Recycling Batteries … more
Episode #511
Cedar Clapboards, Chainsaw Etiquette … more
Episode #510
Kitchen Backsplash, Installing Sod … more
Episode #509

Original Air Date: Week of Week of December 2, 2006

Host Kevin O'Connor and child safety expert Jeff Baril visit a homeowner to "childproof" her home. Then Kevin, along with general contractor Tom Silva, landscaping contractor Roger Cook, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Richard helps a homeowner install a back-up sump pump that is powered by municipal water pressure instead of electricity.

Childproofing a home for safety.
Child safety expert Jeff Baril visits a homeowner to help make her home safer for her 9-month-old son. To prevent the child from opening kitchen cabinets, Jeff recommends safety latches for the doors and drawers. For the stove, he installs knob covers that prevent children from turning on the burners. For the electrical outlets, he installs a self-closing outlet cover that installs easily. On the second floor, Jeff installs a window guard that prevents children from falling out while still allowing the window to be open for ventilation. To prevent children from being strangled by window cords, Jeff installs cleats for the cords to be wrapped around. To keep a dresser from accidentally tipping forward, Jeff installs brackets that secure the dresser to the wall. To prevent children from falling down the stairs, Jeff recommends a safety gate at the top and bottom of the stairs to prevent access. Back in the loft, Jeff shows Kevin a type of strap used for securing larger furniture to the wall. He also shows a doorknob cover that prevents children from opening doors. Finally, Jeff shows Kevin a special latch that prevents a child from lifting a toilet seat lid.

Where to Find It
All of the child safety products Jeff demonstrated are available for purchase from:
Safe Beginnings, Inc.

Safe Beginnings also provides in-home childproofing consultations.

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

Where to Find It
Roger shows a plastic tray designed to make it easier to pull mail out of a mailbox.
Quick Reach Tray Manufactured by KAPS, Inc.

Installing a water-powered backup sump pump.
Richard helps a homeowner who is worried about his sump pump not working in the event of a power outage. Richard recommends a "backup" sump pump that is powered by municipal water instead of electricity. When the primary pump fails, the backup pump kicks in. The pump uses 1 gallon of city water for every 2 gallons of water drawn out of the sump pit. Richard mounts the backup pump on a nearby wall, making sure that the float sits slightly above the float for the primary pump. That way, it will only activate when the primary pump fails and water rises in the sump pit. The backup pump requires a ¾" water supply line to power it, to Richard has to run new copper pipe over to the sump pit. Richard decides to tie the PVC discharge pipe for the backup pump into the existing discharge pipe for the primary pump using a "Y" fitting. Richard also installs a "check valve" on the backup pump's discharge pipe to make sure water never runs back down into the sump pit when the pump stops running.

Where to Find It
Tom shows a green plastic tool used for spacing exterior deck boards during installation.
Guardian backup sump pump (model #747H20) manufactured by: A.Y. McDonald Mfg. Co.
Episode #508
Maintaining stone countertops, what is it?, Installing a chain link fence… more
Episode #507
Home Energy Audit, what is it?, Removing a toilet seat with corroded bolts… more
Episode #506
Rebuilding a small exterior deck and stairs.… more
Episode #505
Planting flower bulbs in fall, making straight rip cuts with a circular saw, what is it?… more
Episode #504
Installing garage storage cabinets, What is it?, Installing a ceiling fan… more
Episode #503
Installing a new shower base, Installing a rain barrel… more
Episode #502
Replacing a clogged faucet aerator, Selecting houseplants, Quieting a squeaky subfloor under carpet… more
Episode #501
Repairing a bathroom door, planting a bamboo privacy screen, what is it?… more