Ask This Old House TV // Season 10 // Episode 25

AskTOH | Generator, Clogged Sewer

Host Kevin O'Connor and electrician Scott Caron travel to Annapolis, Maryland to install a manual transfer switch for a portable generator. Then Kevin, along with general contractor Tom Silva, landscape contractor Roger Cook, and plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey ask "What Is It?" Afterwards, Richard heads to Dallas to fix a sewer line that is clogged with tree roots.

Generator Transfer Switch
Electrician Scott Caron installs a manual transfer switch for a portable generator. He first wired the switch to the existing circuits in the home that will be powered in the event of an electrical outage. He then installed a receptacle outside the house for the portable generator to be plugged into.

Where to find it?
Expert assistance on this project was provided by Scott Caron of Caron Electric

The transfer switch that Scott installed is model 31410CRK, manufactured by Reliance Controls

The portable generator (model XG7000) was provided by Generac Power Systems

This project involves rewiring within a home's electrical panel. Working with a licensed electrician is recommended.

What Is It?
Richard asks the guys to identify a red metal object with black handles.

Where to find it?
Richard demonstrated a Paper Log Briquette Maker, which can be used to make fireplace logs from ordinary newspaper. A similar device (item no. 148827) is available from online retailer Kotula's (

Relining a Sewer Drain Pipe
Richard helps a homeowner clear tree roots from his sewer drain and reline the pipe. The pipe is relined using a polyester sock and a two-part resin. When the resin cures, it will create a rigid plastic pipe inside of the existing cast iron drain line, preventing any roots or other foreign objects from penetrating.

Where to find it?
Expert assistance on this project was provided by Roto Rooter

The pipe lining system that Richard installed is manufactured by MaxLiner

Back at the barn, Richard described another technology that can be used to re-line water supply pipes. This system is manufactured by Ace Duraflow ( and available in the Dallas area from DFW Pipe Restoration.

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