Ask This Old House TV // Season 8 // Episode 21

Ask TOH | Water Heater, Mosquito Trap, Exterior Trim

Host Kevin O'Connor and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey head to Virginia to help a homeowner replace his old, electric water heater with a heat pump water heater that uses much less electricity. Then, up in the loft, Richard and Kevin, along with general contractor Tom Silva and landscaping contractor Roger Cook ask, "What is it?" Afterward, Roger and Kevin discuss propane-fueled mosquito traps and how to keep them working properly. Then Tom helps a homeowner install exterior trim against a very uneven stone chimney.

Installing a Hybrid Electric Water Heater
Richard and Kevin traveled to Virginia to help a homeowner replace an aging electric water heater with a new, more efficient one. The new water heater uses heat pump technology, where heat is extracted from the surrounding air and used to heat the water inside the storage tank. Installation is similar to a standard electric water heater, except that a drain is needed to collect and discharge condensation, a byproduct of the heat pump.

Where to Find It?
The heat pump water heater is manufactured by:

General Electric (GE)

What Is It?
The guys try to guess the intended purpose of an unusual-looking product.

Where to Find It?
Richard showed an electric device used for cleaning and polishing shoes. It is available from:

The Sharper Image

Choosing & Maintaining Mosquito Traps
Up in the loft, Roger and Kevin discussed how propane-fueled mosquito traps work and how to maintain them for maximum effectiveness.

Where to Find It?
The mosquito traps that Roger showed were manufactured by Mosquito Magnet ( and were supplied by:

Pure Pest Management, LLC
Weston, MA 02493

Installing Exterior Trim Against a Stone Chimney
Tom helped a homeowner install PVC exterior trim against an irregularly shaped stone chimney. The homeowner was re-siding his house and wanted each piece of siding to butt against trim rather than the chimney itself. To make the trim fit tightly against the chimney, Tom used a combination of methods. For the first piece, Tom scribed a line using a compass and cut along the line using a jigsaw. For the second piece, Tom pressed malleable lead flashing against the chimney and attached the trim on top of it. For the third piece, instead of cutting the trim to fit the chimney, Tom cut a slot in chimney so that he could slide a piece of trim behind it.

Where to Find It?
Lead flashing, tarpaper, caulk and PVC trim boards are available at home centers and professional lumberyards.

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