Ask TOH | Orchard, Water Heater

On this episode of Ask TOH
Roger helps plant a home orchard using apple and pear trees. Tom shows Kevin how to choose and use a circular saw. Richard installs a new tank water heater and discusses new regulations on them. 

Where to find it?
For this project, Roger selected a variety of apple and pear trees, which included:

Red Delicious
Honey Crisp

Flemish Beauty

He also showed an espalier apple and a columnar apple tree, both of which might be good options for small spaces and can be found in a number of varieties.

Trees for this project were purchased at Millican Nurseries, a wholesale operation specializing in fruit trees.

Roger installed ProLock plastic locking chain to help stake the trees, which is manufactured by Dimex.


How to Choose a Circular Saw
Tom shows Kevin the best way to use a circular saw and how to find one that fits your project.

Where to find it?
Tom praises the versatility of circular saws and shows off a variety of them. One is the battery-powered version manufactured by Milwaukee.

Tom also shows off a worm-drive circular saw. This saw offers good balance and more power. It also has the handle behind the blade for better control of the saw. Tom demonstrates the circular saw most commonly used, the sidewinder, electrical version. In this case, manufactured by Makita.

Tom admits while circular saws vary in quality, much of the experience boils down to the quality of the blade.

Tom illustrates the difference between blades.  Blades with a lot of smaller teeth are typically used for a finer cut. Less teeth, but larger blades are used for framing and give you a rougher cut. Diamond-tipped blades can be used to cut masonry. 


How to Replace a Tank Water Heater
Richard replaces a tank water heater. 

Where to find it?
Richard explains how new regulations have increased the size of tank water heaters. In this case, Richard is installing a 40-gallon Bradford White tank water heater.


New Tank Water Heater Regulations
Richard explains the differences in tank water heaters under the new energy regulations. 

Richard explains under new regulations manufacturers must now increase the insulation in tank water heaters from 3/4-inch to 1 1/2-inches. In gas or oil-fired tanks over 55 gallons, homes must also vent them differently. Tanks must be vented through a non-metallic through-the-wall vent and not through the chimney. A second line of outdoor air will be piped in the water heater for combustion.

In electrical tanks over 55 gallons, homes must have a heat-pump hybrid water heater. That sucks in air from the home to heat the water in the tank. This version is much larger than a standard tank water heater. Regulations do not affect tankless or instantaneous water heater.


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