Ask This Old House

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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


Original Air Date: Week of March 22, 2007

Landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows two young homeowners how to mow and edge their front lawn properly. Then Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and general contractor Tom Silva ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Richard shows Kevin how to repair and maintain electric water heaters. Then, Tom helps a homeowner repair a broken stair tread using a new type of wooden dowel.

Lawn Mowing and Edging Basics
Roger showed a young couple the proper methods for mowing and edging a lawn. The lawn had some thin, bare spots; Roger determined that it had been mowed too short in the past, causing it to dry out. He also noticed that the tips of the grass blades were ragged, which can be caused by a dull lawn mower blade and result in disease.

Where to find it
The gas-powered lawn mower and electric string trimmer were supplied by:
The Toro Company
888-384-9939

For more information on string trimmers, see:
on the ThisOldHouse.com

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

Where to Find It?
Concrete vibrators can be rented at your local power tool rental center.

Repairing and maintaining electric water heaters
Up in the loft, Richard showed Kevin a few ways to maintain and repair electric water heaters. Most electric water heaters have two electric elements to heat the water. The elements are controlled by thermostats mounted onto the tank. If an electric water heater is not providing hot water, Richard recommends first verifying that the unit is receiving electricity and then checking the "ECO," or Emergency Cut Off. The ECO acts like a circuit breaker, preventing the unit from overheating if the thermostats malfunction.

Where to Find It?
Electric water heaters and replacement parts supplied by:
Gourley Co.
781-894-9500

Electric water heaters and replacement parts can also be purchased at your local home center or plumbing supply house.

Repairing a broken stair tread
Tom helped a homeowner repair a broken stair tread. The tread had a crack near the front edge that ran along its length. To repair the crack, Tom recommended using a new type of wooden dowel. The dowels have a series of "steps" that help to hold the pieces of wood together. Since the stair treads were made of red oak, Tom selected a dowel made of the same type of wood.Where to Find ItTom used a special type of wooden dowel to repair the stair tread. The dowel was "stepped" and required the use of a special drill bit.

Manufacturer: Miller Dowel Company
866-966-3734
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
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