Ask This Old House

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Season 6 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 6"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #626
Rebuilding a toilet tank, Lawn Watering, Building a simple bookcase… more
Episode #625
Installing a water pressure reducing valve, Choosing the best types of grass seed, What is it?, Installing crown molding on kitchen cabinets… more
Episode #624
Replacing broken tile, Cutting ceramic and stone tile, Installing glass tile on a kitchen backsplash… more
Episode #623
Overseeding a lawn using a slice seeder, Viewer tip, Preparing a home for sale, Finding and fixing a mysterious plumbing leak … more
Episode #622
Installing granite steps, Choosing "Keyless" Deadbolts, Replacing polybutylene water piping… more
Episode #621
Installing an old full-mortise lockset into a new door, Installing a pellet stove, Non-Gasoline Lawn Mowers… more
Episode #620
Building a soccer goal with PVC pipe, Building stilts, Building a sandbox… more
Episode #619
Increasing attic insulation, Installing landscape lighting, Replacing an old kitchen faucet… more
Episode #618
Installing a Water Softener, Installing fiber-cement siding … more
Episode #617
Improving a lawn, What is it?, Water Supply Piping… more
Episode #616
Replacing a leaky skylight, What is it?, Repairing a 3-way light switch… more
Episode #615
The ATOH crew repairs a smelly dishwasher, transplants a rosebush, changes a circular saw blade, and plays another exciting round of What Is It?… more
Episode #614
Installing thermostatic radiator valves on hydronic radiators, What is it?, Making a refrigerator fit into an opening that is too small, Viewer tip… more
Episode #613
Installing a vinyl fence, Installing an epoxy coating on a garage floor… more
Episode #612
Determining landscape grades, What is it?, Seeing inside walls, Repairing a bathtub drain that won't hold water… more
Episode #611
Improving front steps with bluestone, What is it?, Installing a propane kitchen stove… more
Episode #610
Diverting storm runoff to a "rain garden," What is it?, Refinishing a wood floor … more
Episode #609
Picking a Christmas tree, What is it?, Safety equipment, Caulking a leaky window… more
Episode #608
Improving a muddy backyard, Choosing space heaters, Preventing condensation in a bathroom fan… more
Episode #607
Installing replacement windows, Heating water more efficiency, Home energy audit… more
Episode #606
Removing a dangerous tree, What is it?, Installing interior door trim… more
Episode #605
Repairing a jammed garbage disposer, What is it?, Stripping exterior paint, Drilling and notching in joists … more
Episode #604


Original Air Date: Week of October 25, 2007

Up in the loft, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows host Kevin O'Connor a few devices for preventing plumbing floods in the home. Then, Roger helps a pair of homeowners remove some overgrown shrubs and replace them with appropriate "foundation plantings." Then Richard and Roger, along with general contractor Tom Silva and host Kevin O'Connor ask, "What is it?" Then, Tom shows Kevin how to repair a rotted windowsill using a two-part epoxy.

How to Prevent Floods

Richard showed Kevin several different devices for sensing and preventing water leaks in the home. He showed a battery-powered device that sounds an alarm when water is detected. He then showed a device that shuts the main water supply off if a pipe bursts. Richard also recommended using a pan underneath a water heater to contain leaks and showed a device that has sensors that detect leaks and shut off the water and also the gas or electricity connected to the water heater. For washing machines, he showed a pan that catches leaks underneath and an automatic shut-off that detects leaks and shuts off water going to the washing machine. Finally, Richard showed a water supply hose that has a built-in shut-off device for preventing floods.

Leak detection and prevention devices were supplied by the following manufacturers:

Leak alarm:
Manufacturer: Zircon Corp.
1580 Dell Ave
Campbell, CA 95008
(800) 245-9265

Electronic water main shut-off:
Manufacturer: WaterCop/DynaQuip Controls
10 Harris Industrial Park
St. Clair, MO 63077
(800) 545-3636

Electronic water heater shut-off, electronic washing machine shut-off, and flood prevention supply hoses:
Manufacturer: Watts Regulator Company
815 Chestnut Street
North Andover, MA 01845
(978) 688-1811

Water heater shut-off:
Manufacturer: FloodMaster, Inc.
63 Main Street
Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522
(888) 771-4929

How to Remove and Replace Foundation Plants

Roger helped a pair of homeowners remove their shabby-looking foundation plantings, some of which were damaged during a recent roof replacement. Rather than try to salvage the existing plants, Roger determined that it would be better to replace them with plants more appropriate for planting close to the house. Using a “compact utility loader,” Roger and the homeowners lashed a chain around the shrubs and used the machine to pull them out of the ground. Once the old plants were removed, Roger laid out several new plants that included a number of “dwarf” varieties that won’t grow too tall and obstruct the front of the house.

Roger used a DINGO compact utility loader.

Manufactured by: The Toro Company
8111 Lyndale Avenue South
Bloomington, MN 55420
(888) 384-9939

The Toro DINGO is available for rent at many locations nationwide, including:
Richie & Clapper, Inc.
33 Boston Post Rd
Sudbury, MA 01776
(978) 443-1333

What Is It?

Tom showed a plastic device that prevents power tools from becoming unplugged from extension cords.

Kord 'n Klamp Extension Kord Clip (makers of the "Gutterpiller")

How to Fix Rotted Wood with Epoxy

Tom showed Kevin how to repair a rotten windowsill and trim using a two-part "architectural" epoxy. The epoxy is designed to be flexible so that it will not separate from the wood as the wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. Tom first grinded out the soft, decayed wood using a router. Next, he applied a bonding agent to ensure a good bond between the epoxy and the wood. Tom then traced the profile of the window trim onto a plastic putty knife and cut the knife to match the profile. Tom then dispensed the two-part epoxy using a special caulking gun onto the piece of plastic and mixed the two parts together. He then applied the epoxy to the windowsill and trim using his putty knives. Back in the loft, Tom recommended another application of epoxy for "touch up" and a light sanding before applying paint.

Two-part architectural epoxy for repairing rotten wood:

Manufacturer: Advanced Repair Technology, Inc.
P.O. Box 510
Cherry Valley, NY 13320
(607) 264-9040
Episode #603
Replacing a toilet flange, What is it?, Repairing cracked plaster, Viewer Tip… more
Episode #602
Carpentry squares, What is it?, Installing a patio using concrete bricks… more
Episode #601
Replacing a bathtub drain trap, What is it?, Repairing a cracked drywall ceiling… more