Ask This Old House TV // Season 7 // Episode 19

Ask TOH | Water Hammer Arrestor, Exterior Door

Plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey helps a homeowner quiet his banging pipes by installing a water hammer shock suppressor. Then Richard, along with host Kevin O'Connor, general contractor Tom Silva and landscaping contractor Roger Cook ask, "What is it?" Then, Tom and Kevin show how to install a pre-hung fiberglass exterior door.

Installing water hammer arrestors

Richard helped a homeowner quiet his banging water pipes. Whenever the homeowner would turn off a faucet or his toilet's fill valve would close, he could hear the supply pipes leading up from the basement to the upstairs bathroom rattling and banging, a condition known as "water hammer." The problem also occurred when the supply valves inside the dishwasher and washing machine closed. Richard determined that the noise was caused by loose water supply pipes, but he could not secure the pipes hidden inside the floor. So, to fix the problem, Richard installed water hammer arrestors on the hot and cold supply pipes inside an access panel behind the bathtub, since that's where most of the noise could be heard. Later, up in the loft, Richard showed Kevin what happens inside a wall when water hammer occurs.

Where to find it?

Richard installed water hammer arrestors to quiet a homeowner's noisy water supply pipes.

Manufacturer: AMTROL, Inc.
1400 Division Road
West Warwick, RI 02893

What is it?

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

Where to find it?

Roger showed a solar-powered device used to slowly turn a hanging plant so that all sides get an equal amount of sunlight during the day. The "Roto Basket" is manufactured by:

Smart Solar
Smart Solar

Installing an exterior fiberglass door

Tom and Kevin replaced an old, wooden exterior door with a new fiberglass door. Because the old door had thin wood panels and poor weatherstripping, it was not energy efficient. The new fiberglass door had foam insulation inside and dual-pane insulated windows. With the trim removed, Tom used a reciprocating saw and a pry bar to cut the nails holding the jambs in place and removed the entire door unit. The new pre-hung door would rest on the subfloor, which was not level. To correct this problem, Tom scribed two wood strips and attached them to the top of the subfloor. These strips also elevated the new threshold so that when the door is opened, it will clear any rugs or carpet that might be in the way. Next, Tom installed a flexible "self-sealing" flashing over the front edge of the opening and applied a generous bead of caulking to protect the underside of the door from any water penetration. With the flashing in place, Tom and Kevin inserted the new door into the opening, checked the jambs for plumb, inserted shims and screwed the unit in place. Next, Tom and Kevin installed a lockset and used minimal-expanding foam insulation between the jambs and framing to seal out drafts.

Where to find it?

Tom and Kevin installed an insulated, fiberglass door.

Manufacturer: Therma-Tru
(model FC06)
Therma-Tru Doors

Tom and Kevin also installed a new lockset.

Manufacturer: Schlage Lock Company

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