Ask This Old House

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Season 7 Show Descriptions

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Episode #726, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner repair a leaking PVC drain trap underneath his kitchen sink...… more
Episode #725, Season 7 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor and an electrician help a homeowner install a new ventilation fan in her bathroom...… more
Episode #724, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a new garage door...… more
Episode #723, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner prepare his concrete basement walls for finished wallboard...… more
Episode #722, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps install a new type of "zoning" control for her forced-air heating and cooling system… more
Episode #721, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner install a new "dual flush" water-saving toilet… more
Episode #720, Season 7 of ATOH
Our annual "kids" episode features family-friendly projects that parents and kids can build together!… more
Episode #719, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner quiet his banging pipes by installing a water hammer shock suppressor...… more
Episode #718, Season 7 of ATOH
Episode seven-hundred eighteen, Season seven of ask this old house

Original Air Date: Week of 01/29/2009

Landscape contractor Roger Cook shows a homeowner how to prune her neglected crabapple tree properly. Then Roger, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask, "What is it?" Later, Richard helps a homeowner install a new "anti-scald" shower-mixing valve.

Pruning a crabapple tree

Roger helped a homeowner prune a crabapple tree to make it healthier and improve its appearance. Some bad cuts had been made to the tree over the years, causing wounds to not heal properly. Improper pruning also led to a lack of light and air circulation near the center of the tree, which allowed a fungus called "apple scab" to grow on the leaves. Roger demonstrated the "three-cut" method for pruning, which helps prevent tearing of the tree's bark and encourages proper healing at the "branch collar." Roger also recommended raking away leaves containing apple scab, to help prevent fungal infections in the tree.

Where to find it?

Pruning saws are available at home centers and garden supply stores.

What is it?

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

Where to find it?

Richard showed a battery-powered tool used for cutting copper pipes.

M12 Copper Tubing Cutter
Manufacturer: Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp.
13135 W. Lisbon Road
Brookfield, WI 53005
(800) 729-3878
Milwaukee

Retrofitting an anti-scald shower valve

Richard helped a homeowner replace an existing three-valve shower control with a single-handled mixing valve. In a three-valve control, one handle controls hot water, one handle controls cold, and the third handle diverts water from the spout up to the showerhead. The new single-handle valve prevents scalding, should there be a sudden drop in cold water pressure. Richard began by removing the existing valves. Next, he traced around a template supplied by the new valve's manufacturer. He used masonry bit to drill many small holes around the perimeter, being careful to stay inside the template line. He then used a cold chisel to break the tile carefully between the holes. With the new opening cut in the tile wall, Richard cut out the existing valves and centered the new valve body in the opening. He then soldered the connections to the hot and cold water supply pipes as well as the lines to the tub spout and showerhead. With the connections made, Richard covered the opening with a trim plate, installed the handle and a matching tub spout, and the installation was complete. Later, up in the loft, Richard showed a variety of decorative trim packages available for shower valves.

Where to find it?

Richard installed a new pressure-balanced shower valve manufactured by:

Temptrol®
Symmons Industries, Inc.
(800) 796-6667
Symmons Industries
Episode #717, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner clean, stain and seal his mahogany backyard deck… more
Episode #716, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner convert a claw foot bathtub into a shower… more
Episode #715, Season 7 of ATOH
This special episode is dedicated to making the most out of your existing kitchen cabinets.… more
Episode #714, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner in Charleston, South Carolina fix a sagging wooden gate...… more
Episode #713, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing & heating expert Richard Trethewey and host Kevin O'Connor replace an old tank-type water heater with a new, energy-efficient "tankless" unit...… more
Episode #712, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners break apart and remove a large boulder...… more
Episode #711, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner repair a very dangerous deck...… more
Episode #710, Season 7 of ATOH
Plumbing & heating expert Richard Trethewey heads to Indianapolis...… more
Episode #709, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a pair of homeowners build a retaining wall using pressure-treated timbers...… more
Episode #708, Season 7 of ATOH
General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner prepare a shower enclosure for tile using a new type of waterproofing system...… more
Episode #707, Season 7 of ATOH
This episode has many tips for making your home more energy efficient...… more
Episode #706, Season 7 of ATOH
Up in the loft, general contractor Tom Silva shows host Kevin O’Connor how to repair damaged laminate countertops...… more
Episode #705, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps a homeowner transplant a giant Rhododendron bush...… more
Episode #704, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook helps two homeowners repair the damage done to their lawn...… more
Episode #703, Season 7 of ATOH
Host Kevin O'Connor travels to Nashville, where he helps a pair of homeowners brighten up their kitchen. Then...… more
Episode #702, Season 7 of ATOH
Landscaping contractor Roger Cook shows a pair of homeowners how to transplant a large, mature tree to their front yard. Then Roger, along with...… more
Episode #701, Season 7 of ATOH
ATOH kicks off with Tom Silva preventing a garage roof from collapsing by replacing a rotting support post, Then Tom, along with...… more