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

Original Air Date: Week of November 1, 2007

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a pair of homeowners with a jammed kitchen garbage disposer. Then Richard, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva and landscaping contractor Roger Cook ask, "What is it?" Then, Kevin learns from a painting expert how to remove exterior paint from cedar siding. Back in the loft, Tom and Richard show Kevin the do's and don'ts of cutting holes and notches in joists.

Repairing a jammed garbage disposer

Richard helped a pair of homeowners with a garbage disposer that had been jammed for more than a year. He began by showing several methods for un-jamming a disposer, including using a factory-supplied allen wrench to turn the motor manually from the bottom of the disposer. He also showed how to use two wooden sticks to force the motor to turn from above. Finally, Richard used a professional wrench made specifically for un-jamming garbage disposers and, with a little muscle, managed to work it loose.

Where to find it?

Allen wrenches are available at all hardware stores and home centers. The special garbage disposer de-jamming wrench is available at most plumbing supply stores. A similar wrench is manufactured by:

General Tools

Technical assistance for this project was provided by:
4700 21st Street
Racine, WI 53406

What is it?

The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to find it?

Tom showed a device that uses 2x10 and 2x6 lumber to create a stable platform used for temporary staging while working on a house.

Manufacturer: T Brace, LLC
1350 Manufacturing Street #109
Dallas, TX 75207
(866) 454-4983

Stripping exterior paint

Painting contractor Rich O'Neil shows Kevin a few ways to remove old exterior paint from a house with cedar clapboard siding. Rich starts by showing how to remove paint using “pull scrapers.” He prefers a carbide-tipped scraper to a steel one because the carbide stays sharper longer. After scraping, Rich uses an electric “random orbit” sander connected to a vacuum to remove additional paint and “feather” the edges of any remaining paint. For removing old paint from trim, Rich showed a “molding scraper.” To make scraping trim easier, Rich showed two devices that generate heat, including a “heat gun” that softens paint and an “infrared” heater that breaks the bond between the paint and the wood.

Where to find it?

Paint scrapers are available at any hardware store, home center or paint supply store.

Infrared heaters are available at some specialty suppliers, including:
(703) 476-6222

The electric "random orbit" sander and vacuum that Rich used are manufactured by:
Festool USA
Tooltechnic Systems, LLC
400 N. Enterprise Blvd
Lebanon, IN 46052
(888) 337-8600

Drilling and notching in joists

Tom and Richard show Kevin some dos and don'ts of notching and drilling holes into joists for running plumbing pipes and electrical wires.

Where to find it?

If you're unsure of whether you can safely notch or drill into a joist, contact your local building department.

Infrared heaters are available at some specialty suppliers, including:
Episode #604
Preventing floods, Removing and replacing foundation plants, What is it?, Fixing rotted wood with epoxy… more
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