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S21 E7: Paint Tile, Water Tank Replacement

In this episode, Richard Trethewey replaces a hot water tank, and Heath Eastman shares safety tips for hanging electric holiday decorations. Later, Tom Silva explains how to repair woodpecker damage. Finally, Mauro Henrique helps a homeowner paint bathroom tile.

Previous episode: S21 E6 | Next episode: S21 E8

In this episode:

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey takes us on a house call to relieve a homeowner’s stress. With a 16-year-old water heater lurking in the basement, the homeowner is expecting it to fail at any moment, so Richard suggests they swap it out with a new unit.

First, the two get started by shutting off the gas, cutting the existing copper pipes, and removing all the fittings and exhaust before pulling the heater out. Next, the two place the new, larger heater in its place before reconnecting the plumbing and chipping away a new chimney hole for the exhaust. Finally, they patch the chimney, reconnect the gas, and write the installation date on the water heater.

Next, we meet host Kevin O’Connor and master electrician Heath Eastman back at the shop to talk about holiday lights. After assessing Kevin’s inability to store lights properly, Heath helps him check each strand’s condition and check the fuses should a strand not light. Then, the two discuss the pros and cons of LED lights and devices for powering lighting displays before Heath begs Kevin to step-up his light storage game.

After that, general contractor Tom Silva teaches Kevin all about woodpecker damage. After explaining the different types of holes that woodpeckers make (and why they make them), Tom goes through his best tips for repairing existing damage. Tom even explains some convention (and not-so-conventional) options for keeping woodpeckers at bay.

Finally, we tag along with paint expert Mauro Henrique as he heads out on a house call to a 1950s bungalow. After checking out a beautiful kitchen renovation, the homeowner takes Mauro to the issue: an avocado green bathroom tile. Mauro first explains the options to the homeowner, explaining that he can either tear all of the tiles down and rebuild or paint the tiles. The two decide to paint the existing tile in light of budget and time.

First, Mauro explains that 85 percent of the finished product depends on the prep work, so the two get to work cleaning all the tiles. Then, they work together to mask off the walls, floors, cabinets, and toilet with painter’s tape, plastic, and resin paper. After masking, the two sand the tiles to roughen the surface before applying epoxy paint with rollers and brushes.


How to Replace a Tank-Type Water Heater

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner be proactive about their home maintenance by replacing their existing tank-type water heater before it fails.

Where to find it?

Richard installs a hot water heater (tank-type) with a homeowner's help. Richard suggests replacing the old hot water heater with a new tank instead of opting to install a new combination boiler, as it’s the most cost-effective solution, and a really simple replacement. Richard suggests that once the new hot water heater reaches the end of its life, the boiler will likely be at the end of its life too. At that point, replacing both the boiler and how water heater with a combination boiler is the best solution.

Tools and materials are manufactured by Rheem Manufacturing.


Electrical Safety Tips for Holiday Lights

Master electrician Heath Eastman shows host Kevin O’Connor what he needs to know about holiday light safety.

Where to find it?

Heath offers electrical safety tips for the holiday season. Before plugging anything in Heath says to check your string lights for broken or missing bulbs, frayed cords or wires showing through the insulation. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International, every year 150 home fires start with holiday lights.

If you’re shopping for holiday lights, Heath advises to go for LED (light-emitting diode) lights. LED lights are cool to the touch, compared to traditional incandescent Christmas lights, and use less electricity.

Heath also suggests only using lights tested, rated, and approved by Underwriters Laboratory (UL).

Remembering to turn off your holiday lights after they’ve been on for a while or when you’re away can be a challenge. Heath suggests using a plug-in timer to manage indoor or outdoor lighting. Heath says one of the most important things to do when putting up outdoor decorations is to use a GFCI outlet stake. These power stakes are like surge protectors in that they offer a multitude of outlets with some overload protection options. Heath says to use plastic light clips instead of nails or screws to prevent puncture wires. Using a cord protector will protect electrical cord connections in wet conditions.


All About Woodpecker Damage Repair and Prevention

General contractor Tom Silva shows host Kevin O’Connor how to identify, repair, and prevent woodpecker damage around the home.

Where to find it?

Tom explains how to identify woodpecker damage, what repair options there are, and how to prevent it.

Tom first explains the reasons woodpeckers may drum into your home could be for their March-May mating season or also because they are feeding on insects. He explains that similar clusters of cone-shaped holes are more likely for mating while irregular small holes are probably for feeding.

Tom explains damage can be anywhere on the exterior of the home, but a few repair options include replacing cedar shingles, making a dutchman repair to siding or corner boards, the old painters method of nailing aluminum siding over holes and using wood filler for smaller holes.

There are many options to deter woodpeckers. It’s important to remember that woodpeckers are federally protected birds, so all deterrents need to be humane. Tom mentions the importance of highly reflective materials and materials with sudden unpredictable movements. Examples include mylar balloons, reflective streamers, CD’s, reflective tape, or pinwheels. Tom notes that decoy predators can work as a deterrent but it is important to move them regularly around the property so that the woodpeckers do not become desensitized to them.


How to Paint Tile

Paint expert Mauro Henrique helps a homeowner avoid a costly and drawn-out project by painting his avocado green tiles with epoxy paint.

Where to find it?

Mauro helps a homeowner, Brian, repaint his 1950s avocado green bathroom tile with a white epoxy tile paint.

Mauro and Brian use painters tape to protect the edges of the newly painted bathroom walls. To cover the vanity and toilet, they use plastic sheeting. For the last step to prep the bathroom, they tape down floor paper.

To sand the tiles for better adhesion, Mauro uses an orbital sander and 320-grit sandpaper. To clean up the dust, Mauro goes in with a HEPA-Vac. To paint the tile, Mauro uses an epoxy acrylic Tub and Tile paint. To ensure proper ventilation, Mauro installs a window ventilator, and he and Brian wear respirator masks.

To cut-in, Mauro uses a soft 1-½ inch angled brush. Then Mauro and Brian roll the paint onto the tiles using 4-inch foam rollers and short neck roller frames. For the second coat, to get deeper into the grout, Mauro switches to 4-inch microfiber rollers.

All products can be found at local home centers.

Original Air Date: Nov 3, 2022, Season 21; Ep. 6 23:42


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