Ask This Old House

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Season 5 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 5"
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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


Original Air Date: Week of December 23, 2006

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to San Francisco to help a homeowner repair an old shower mixing valve. Then Richard, along with host Kevin O'Connor, landscaping contractor Roger Cook, and general contractor Tom Silva ask, "What is it?" Then, up in the loft, Kevin and Tom are joined by battery expert Tim Pugh to discuss battery technology in cordless tools and proper recycling of batteries.

Replacing a shower mixing valve
The homeowner complains that his shower that won't provide full water pressure when both hot and cold water are mixed together. Richard determines that the problem is with the pressure-balancing cartridge inside the mixing valve and he takes the homeowner to a local plumbing supply company to get the necessary repair parts. While there, Richard also asks for a new trim package, which will update the look of the valve. Back at the condominium, Richard removes the old handle and face plate. He then closes the shut-off valves, removes the valve cap, and pulls out the old pressure-balancing unit. He then attaches new o-rings and inserts the new cartridge. He then installs a new cap with some plumber's grease for lubrication. Richard then installs a new sub-base and attaches the new trim and handle.

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

Where to Find It
Roger showed two rubber pads that help prevent an extension ladder from falling.

Grippster Ladder Stops manufactured by: Grippster
800-292-9124

Cordless tool batteries
Up in the loft, Kevin and Tom are joined by cordless battery expert Tim Pugh to talk about nickel-cadmium and lithium-ion battery technologies. They also discuss proper charging techniques and discuss show to properly dispose of used batteries for recycling.

Where to Find It
For more information about rechargeable batteries and how to dispose of them properly, please contact: Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC)
800-822-8837
Episode #511
Cedar Clapboards, Chainsaw Etiquette … more
Episode #510
Kitchen Backsplash, Installing Sod … more
Episode #509
Child safety, What is It?, Installing a sump pump… more
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