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
ask this old house Episode seven-hundred twenty-four of Season seven

Original Air Date: Week of 03/12/2009

General contractor Tom Silva helps a homeowner install a new garage door. Then plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows a homeowner how to "winterize" his plumbing to prevent frozen pipes when the house is unoccupied.

Installing a Garage Door

Tom helps a homeowner replace an old, drafty garage door with a new, energy-efficient unit. The homeowner wanted to turn his garage into a heated workshop, so Tom recommended an insulated garage door with high-quality weather-stripping. They began by removing the old door, being careful to disconnect the springs before disassembling it. With the old door and metal tracks gone, they started installing the new door by installing the new hinges, brackets and nylon rollers, which are much quieter and operate more smoothly than the old steel ones. With the hardware installed, Tom began assembling the new door panel-by-panel in the opening, using the tracks as guides to keep them plumb. After the door was installed, Tom installed the new springs and "safety cables" to prevent injury in the event a spring should break.

Where to Find It?

Tom installed a steel, insulated garage door manufactured by:

Garaga, Inc.
8500, 25th Avenue
St-Georges, QC
G6A 1K5 Canada
418-227-2828

Installation support and new garage door provided by:

Middlesex Overhead Doors
45 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
800-696-1926

Additional support provided by:

Door Systems, Inc.
800-545-3667

Winterizing Plumbing Pipes

Richard helped a homeowner prevent his pipes from freezing during the winter months. The homeowner spends each winter away and didn't want to keep heating the house while it sits empty. Without heat in the house, however, both the water supply pipes and drain traps could freeze and cause thousands of dollars of damage to the house. Richard started by locating the lowest faucet in the house to drain down all the water in the supply pipes. With the pipes fully drained, Richard connected an air compressor to blow out any remaining water that might still be sitting in the pipes. This process involved manually opening all faucets and fixtures in the house to allow the compressed air to force any water out of the supply lines and valves, including the dishwasher and washing machine. Richard did not remove the water from the drain traps, because doing so would allow sewer gasses to enter the home. Instead, he poured non-toxic antifreeze into each drain trap and toilet tank. The homeowner also had a forced hot water heating system, so Richard pumped non-toxic antifreeze into the boiler to prevent freezing of the heating pipes when not in use. Back in the loft, Richard also recommended draining any water out of stand-alone water heater tanks and lines that supply water to refrigerators.

Where to Find It?

Air-compressors and fittings of all kinds are available in home centers and hardware stores.

Non-toxic antifreeze (sometimes called "RV" or "Marine" antifreeze), is available at home centers and marine supply stores. The brand Richard used is:

Cryo-tek -100
Hercules Chemical Company, Inc.
111 South Street
Passaic NJ 07055-9100
800-221-9330
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
Landscape contractor Roger Cook shows a homeowner how to prune her neglected crabapple tree properly.… more
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