Ask This Old House

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Season 2 Show Descriptions

Showing results for "Season 2"
Scan the episodes below and select "more" to get information on products or services you saw on that episode.

Episode #226
Replacing a storm door, identifying a paint mixer and gutter nail driver, and choosing garden tools … more
Episode #225
Corroded copper pipes, old-fashioned sheet metal cutter, and worn-out weather stripping
Episode #224
Track lighting, drywall repair clips, and noisy baseboard heaters… more
Ask This Old House #223
Radiant heat, a cable saw for PVC, and painting aluminum siding… more
Episode #222
Installing curved baseboards, buying wire by the foot, a "Nite Ize Flashlight Friend," and making maple syrup… more
Episode #221
Fixing a steam radiator, a "Molemover" and an invisible nailing kit, and preparing a raised garden bed for winter… more
Episode #220
Installing a programmable thermostat , a snowball maker and garage stopper, and fixing a plaster and lath wall… more
Episode #219
Cutting glass, planting vines, a stud finder and tile spacers, and venting a portable air conditioner… more
Episode #218
Deterring deer, making PVC connections, pipe plugs, and fixing a sagging shower door… more
Episode #217
Wiring for outdoor speakers, a Japanese chalk line, and planting a tree… more
Episode #216

Original Air Date: Week of January 22

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey and a water specialist examine a homeowner's water quality and discuss the installation of a water softener and sediment filter. Back at the loft, Richard, general contractor Tom Silva, landscape contractor Roger Cook, and host Kevin O'Connor try to guess "What is it?" Then Tom makes a House call to help a homeowner replace a rotten board in her oak hardwood flooring.

Testing Water Quality
The homeowner had a water test completed by an independent laboratory. The test revealed that there were no harmful contaminants in the water (i.e., primary contaminants), but that there were elevated levels of magnesium and calcium, resulting in "hard" water. Water quality specialist Mike Barone demonstrated how a water softener works and suggested that the homeowner install a whole-house water filter and softener.

Where to Find It
Independent water tests cost between $50 and $225, depending on the number of contaminants tested. The homeowner's test was conducted by:
Thorstensen Laboratory

For more information about water quality and drinking water standards, visit

Water specialist Mike Barone recommended that the homeowner install a Culligan "gold series" water softening and filtration system. This is system uses an "aqua sensor" to automatically monitor the hardness of the water and replace the sodium only as needed. For more information, contact:
Culligan Water Treatment

What Is It?
Roger, Richard, Tom, and Kevin examined an unfamiliar object and tried to guess how it's used.

Where to Find It
Richard demonstrated a Total Reach duster for cleaning narrow spaces like under a refrigerator or between cabinets. It is manufactured by:
Unger Enterprises, Inc.

Roger demonstrated a "Rain Drain" downspout diverter. It attaches to the bottom of a downspout and automatically unrolls during a rainstorm. Water is released through a series of small holes, preventing damage to the foundation of the house and surrounding landscaping. It is manufactured by:
Dynaseal Inc.

Replacing a Damaged Floorboard
Tom removed the damaged section of red oak tongue and groove strip flooring by drilling several holes along the center of the board and chiseling out the remaining pieces. He removed part of the groove on one side of the new floorboard (converting the dado into a rabbet joint) and glued the new board into place. He then sanded the board and used a high-gloss spray urethane to finish the job.

Where to Find It
Tom used the following basic tools to complete this project: a cordless drill with a half-inch spade bit, wood chisel and hammer, and a palm sander with a vacuum attachment.

He used an aerosol Minwax® polyurethane spray to finish the floor. It may be necessary to test the finish in an inconspicuous area to make sure that the new finish matches the existing finish on the floor.
Episode #215
Repairing sliding doors, an electrical cord connector and ellipse marking tool, electric radiant heat, and selecting paint colors… more
Episode #214
Installing a brick walkway, a maple sugaring spile and "Sand Anchor" umbrella holder, and cutting accurate miters… more
Episode #213
Quieting hardwood floors, a garden sieve and heavy-duty twist-tie, and building timber steps… more
Episode #212
Drip irrigation repair, a "Sander Sitter" and "Forearm Forklifts," and fixing a leaky tile in a tub… more
Episode #211
Adding a stairway handrail, a grout saw and tile cutter, and transplanting a rhododendron… more
Episode #210
Installing a chimney liner, a proportioning tool, and a toilet anti-sweat valve… more
Episode #209
Removing poison ivy, a steel center square and pencil leash, and shingling an outside corner… more
Episode #208
Installing an engineered wood floor, and replacing a sink's pop-up drain… more
Episode #207
Planting ground cover, and opening stuck windows… more
Episode #206
Installing window trim, landscape camouflage, a "tape dolly," and fixing a kitchen spray hose… more
Episode #205
Installing a drywell, a spray paint shaker and magnetic pickup tool, and adding a shower grip bar… more
Episode #204
Patching drywall, sanding blocks and an antique clapboard gauge, and replacing an aged toilet… more
Episode #203
A slate walk, EZ Lift handles and eye-bolt driver, and repairing a shower stall leak … more
Episode #202
Securing a newel post, a nut splitter and paint scraper, and replacing a water heater… more
Episode #201
Installing a deadbolt, trimming a hedge, and installing an indirect hot water heater… more