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 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

Original Air Date: Week of March 27, 2008

Up in the loft, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows host Kevin O'Connor how to replace all the parts inside a typical toilet tank. Next, landscaping contractor Roger Cook and Kevin head outside for a look at different types of above-ground sprinklers and some basic tips on watering a lawn. Finally, back in the loft, Tom shows Kevin how to build a very simple but elegant bookcase using plywood and portable power tools.

Rebuilding a toilet tank

Up in the loft, Richard showed Kevin how to remove a toilet tank and replace all of the working parts. A toilet tank has two major components, a “fill valve” and a “flush valve.” Sometimes, repairs can be made to these parts without removing the tank from the bowl. However, if water is seeping from the underside of the tank, a rubber seal could be leaking and the tank probably needs to be removed so that the seals can be replaced. Often, it also makes sense to replace all of the parts inside the toilet at the same time since older parts may fail in the near future. With the tank and old interior parts removed, Richard used replacement parts from a “toilet repair kit,” which contains all of the parts needed to completely rebuild a toilet tank including a new fill valve, flush valve, tank bolts and rubber seals.

Where to find it?

The toilet repair kit that Richard used is manufactured by:

The valve that Richard installed was manufactured by:

Fluidmaster, Inc. (model # W43AK)
30800 Rancho Viejo Road
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

It is available at The Home Depot (

Lawn Watering

Roger explained to Kevin that the amount of water needed by a lawn is determined by the climate, soil conditions, and type of grass. In the northeast, Roger generally suggests that lawns receive one inch of water (from either sprinklers or natural rain) per week in the summer months. He then demonstrated several different lawn sprinklers, rain gauges, timers, and watering accessories.

Where to find it?

The above-ground sprinklers and timers are manufactured by the following companies:

L. R. Nelson Corporation
One Sprinkler Lane
Peoria, IL 61615

Melnor, Inc.
3085 Shawnee Drive
Winchester, VA 22601

The pop-up in-ground sprinkler is manufactured by:

Watering Made Easy
3930 Forest Village
Kingwood, TX 77339

Building a simple bookcase

Up in the loft, Tom showed Kevin how to build a very simple bookcase. The bookcase was made from cabinet-grade birch-veneer plywood, which is available at most home centers and lumberyards. Tom joined the pieces for the bookcase together using “pocket screws” and a special jig. Other tools needed for the project include a circular saw, cordless drill, and plunge router. All exposed edges of the plywood were covered with iron-on edge banding, which has a layer of birch veneer on one side and heat-activated glue on the other.

Where to find it?

All of the tools and materials needed for this project are available at most home centers and woodworking supply stores, including:

Woodcraft Supply, LLC
Corporate Headquarters
1177 Rosemar Rd
P.O. Box 1686
Parkersburg, WV 26102
(800) 225-1153

The pocket hole jig that Tom used is manufactured by Kreg Tools (

Download free plans for Tom’s bookcase.
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
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