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Home Improvement Tips & Advice

  • Transcript

    Hosts: Tom Kraeutler & Leslie Segrete

    (NOTE: Timestamps below correspond to the running time of the downloadable audio file of this show. Text represents a professional transcriptionist’s understanding of what was said. No guarantee of accuracy is expressed or implied. ‘Ph’ in parentheses indicates the phonetic or best guess of the actual spoken word.)


    TOM: Hi, this is Tom Kraeutler and thanks for listening to the show.

    Hey, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about a cool contest we’re running right now with our friends at Therma-Tru. It’s called the Ugliest Door in America contest and two of our listeners could win a brand new, completely installed entry door worth up to $5,000. Entering is super easy, too, at MyUglyDoor.com. So if your front door, back door or patio door is looking a little worse for wear, log onto MyUglyDoor.com and you can enter to win a beautiful new entry door from Therma-Tru. That’s MyUglyDoor.com.


    TOM: Coast to coast and floorboards to shingles. This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: And we are broadcasting live a very special edition of The Money Pit Radio Show coming to you from the floor of the 2008 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is sort of the place where thousands of exhibitors come to showcase the newest and the best products their companies have to offer.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and this is the first step to getting those products to a store near you so you can actually feel ’em, touch ’em, buy ’em and use ’em and we’ve got hundreds of the top brass in retail and wholesale. They are scouring this show floor which is taking up the entire ginormous Las Vegas convention center this year and they’re going to decide what products are going to make it onto the store shelves for you guys to buy.

    TOM: And we’re going to help you do that, too. This hour you’re going to hear about these products first; plus we’re going to talk about the latest trends in home improvement.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and we’ll be telling you about something more and more of our listeners want to learn about. You keep asking us, ‘How do I go green?’

    TOM: And there’s a new kind of waste that is choking our landfills. It’s called e-waste; electronic garbage from old computers, power tools, cell phones and anything else that you can pretty much think of that’s high-tech. And not only is this hardware taking up space; the rechargeable batteries that some of these items use, they’re dangerous and they need to be properly disposed of.

    LESLIE: That’s why we’ve got a great guest here with us and to tell us more about this we’ve got Richard Karn. You may know him best as Al, that lovable sidekick from TV’s home improvement and now he’s actively involved in getting the word out about the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation which is a non-profit group dedicated to recycling rechargeable batteries.

    Alright, Richard, we enjoyed you so much on home improvement.

    RICHARD: Thank you.

    LESLIE: How did you get involved with the RBRC?

    RICHARD: Well, you know what? They asked. (Tom and Leslie laugh)

    TOM: It was easy. (laughs)

    RICHARD: But I started with them like in ’96.

    TOM: Wow.

    RICHARD: 1996.

    LESLIE: Really?

    RICHARD: Yeah, 12 years I’ve been trying to get the word out and that’s what it takes, you know. Because people, until they really need it, don’t think about it. You know, it’s like that with a lot of products. A lot of things that you might have to do around the house you don’t think about until it actually occurs to you or you have all these batteries in a drawer that you don’t know what to do with.

    TOM: Now we talk a lot about green these days but I mean the RBRC has been green for many, many years. You’ve been on this – this isn’t new to you.

    RICHARD: It’s not new to me but it’s very cool because the companies that make these batteries are all funding it …

    TOM: OK.

    LESLIE: Oh, interesting.

    RICHARD: … so it doesn’t cost the consumer anything. Yeah. The consumer, all he has to do is take it to – we have thousands and thousands of outlets; stores like Target and Radio Shack and Best Buy and Lowe’s. All of those different stores will take these batteries as you bring them in to buy new ones.

    TOM: So this really is a training issue. I mean you’ve got to get this ingrained into people’s heads …

    RICHARD: Well, they …

    TOM: … to not just toss them.

    RICHARD: They know not to – you know, you can recycle newspaper …

    TOM: Right.

    RICHARD: … and your glass and your plastics now. This is just another thing. Like you said, you know, computers and all of these things are filling up our landfills. We don’t know what to do with them.

    TOM: Right.

    RICHARD: Because God know, you’re upgrading every six months. (Tom chuckles)

    LESLIE: Now I know the RBRC also accepts the old cell phones. Because you’re right; people do get the newest and the trendiest thing as soon as it does come out and then suddenly the other one is, you know, shoved in the kitchen drawer. When they collect …

    RICHARD: Yeah, and the cell phones; we collect them and then we refurbish them, if we can …

    LESLIE: Oh, good.

    RICHARD: … and we give them to third world countries.

    TOM: That’s what I was going to ask you; what happens to all these batteries. Now with the ones that you can’t refurbish, (inaudible at 0:04:20.0) the disposable process?

    RICHARD: Well, the batteries in the things – we have our recycling plant just outside of Philadelphia …

    TOM: Right.

    RICHARD: … and it all goes there; everything from Canada, everything from here. And over the years we’ve recycled 42 million pounds so far.

    TOM: Wow.

    LESLIE: Whoo.

    RICHARD: You know. And when you think about it every house has at least 10 products that have these batteries in them and a lot of time you’re going to throw the product out or you’re going to sell it at a garage sale or it’s going to go somewhere else before the battery is no longer rechargeable. You know, the batteries are that good.

    TOM: Right.

    RICHARD: But then there are some products where all of a sudden, yeah, I’ve got to – I just put – you know it’s been 10 years; I just put a new battery in my cordless phone at home.

    TOM: That’s a long time. (chuckles)

    LESLIE: Yeah.

    RICHARD: Yeah.

    TOM: My battery only lasts usually about one day longer than the warranty. (all chuckle)

    RICHARD: And we’ve gotten very good at that, haven’t we? (laughs)

    TOM: You have, and then it costs more than the phone to replace. (laughs)

    RICHARD: I know, I know. But all your stuff’s in there.

    TOM: Right, exactly.

    LESLIE: Now what about data? Like if I’m handing over a cell phone and I’m feeling, quite frankly, too lazy to delete all the phone numbers, do I need to be concerned?

    RICHARD: No, you know. People will be calling you but that’s not bad.

    LESLIE: No. (Tom and Leslie laugh)

    RICHARD: No, I’m kidding. I’m just kidding. I’m sure that they delete all of that stuff out of there. I mean they have to.

    TOM: I would think so.

    RICHARD: Yeah.

    TOM: But honestly, Leslie, nobody wants to know who you’re talking to. (Tom and Leslie chuckle)

    RICHARD: Well, people put their social security numbers, you know …

    TOM: That’s true.

    RICHARD: … and things that they want to remember in their phones.

    TOM: That’s right, and identity theft being what it is you really can’t be too careful.

    RICHARD: Yeah.

    TOM: Now I want to ask you about your home improvement years. When you first got the call for that job did you have any idea it was going to become the huge success that it did?

    RICHARD: No, to be honest with you; because my mind wasn’t working in television at that point.

    TOM: (chuckles) Right. You were a theatre actor?

    RICHARD: (overlapping voices) I had been living in New York. I – yeah, I went through a program at the University of Washington for theatre. I spent 11 years doing regional theatre, Broadway, Off-Broadway; all that kind of stuff.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.

    RICHARD: And then when we did move to Los Angeles and I got on a TV show it was like, ‘Wow, this is …’ – and it was hysterical because the first couple of shows, you know, I’m like I’m used to doing a two-hour show where the arc goes from A to Z in two hours …

    TOM: Right.

    RICHARD: … and I’m like trying to do that in a show that, you know, how long the arc could be is eight years.

    LESLIE: And it takes days to film. (chuckles)

    RICHARD: Yeah. Yeah, so I had to simmer down a little bit.

    TOM: Now I understand that you actually have some home improvement experience. You used to own an apartment building, was it? Your dad was a construction …

    RICHARD: (overlapping voices) I was an apartment manager.

    TOM: Your dad was into construction, too [in the city] (ph)?

    RICHARD: (overlapping voices) My dad was in construction. Yeah, yeah; and my grandfather.

    TOM: Wow, so you grew up with a hammer in hand.

    RICHARD: I grew up in the house he built …

    TOM: Yeah.

    RICHARD: … and he still lives there.

    LESLIE: Oh, that’s great.

    TOM: Yeah, and you know? I think what’s a shame today is that so many of the kids that are growing up are not getting those experiences. I personally used to be a shop teacher many, many years ago; that’s what I went to college for.

    LESLIE: And now you can’t even take a shop class.

    RICHARD: Wow.

    TOM: And now you can’t even take a class.

    RICHARD: Yeah, I would never have – I would have never called that because you still have all your fingers. (Tom and Leslie laugh)

    TOM: I’ve got a couple of scars. I got out just in time. (laughs)

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) One’s a prosthetic; watch out.

    TOM: We’re talking to Richard Karn, actor and spokesperson. You know him best as Al from TV’s home improvement. He is the spokesperson for the RBRC; the Recycling Battery Corporation.

    RICHARD: We have numbers and stuff if people don’t know where to go.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Yeah, let’s talk about that. So – because I think that, you know, whenever you talk about recycling the first thing that comes to a lot of people’s minds is, ‘Not another bucket in my house, please.’ You know?

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) ‘How do we do it?’

    RICHARD: Yeah, yeah; and this isn’t in your house. This is – we have stations all over and if you want to know the closest one to you go to Call2Recycle.org.

    TOM: OK.

    RICHARD: You know, www.Call2Recycle – the number two. Call2Recycle.org or 1-877-2-Recycle. And that’ll give you kind of an overall of what the program is and what’s the closest drop-off area to you.

    LESLIE: And it’s a very serviceable website; in fact, I recently dropped off, you know, the contents of our kitchen drawer which was eight cell phones (Tom chuckles) which we’ve accumulated over the years.

    RICHARD: Can you believe it? Can you believe it? It’s still there.

    TOM: (chuckles) It really collects.

    RICHARD: And you probably still have the box and you probably still have all of – all the stuff.

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Oh, of course.

    TOM: (overlapping voices) Oh, yeah.

    LESLIE: And with recycling the phones I got rid of the boxes; of course I recycled them as well.

    RICHARD: Yeah, yeah.

    LESLIE: But finally I’m like I’m not holding onto these things anymore.

    RICHARD: (chuckles) Because you’re not going to get a really good, you know, return on eBay either.

    LESLIE: No. (chuckling)

    RICHARD: You know, unless it’s like the 1980 version.

    TOM: The number is 87 …

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) That enormous one.

    TOM: The number is 877-2-Recycle; 877-2-R-e-c-y-c-l-e. The website www.Call2Recycle.org.

    Richard Karn, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    RICHARD: My pleasure. Anything I can do to help.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show.

    LESLIE: That’s right. You are listening to The Money Pit on air and online at MoneyPit.com coming to you direct from the 2008 National Hardware Show.

    TOM: And we’re learning a lot here about how consumers shop and what they buy and what they want. You know, outdoor living makes up a big chunk of the home improvement purchases; a whopping $50 billion a year.

    LESLIE: That’s huge.

    TOM: We’re going to talk about that plus a way to keep your outdoor areas safe and secure from would-be thieves. All of that is coming up, next.

    (theme song)

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    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. We are broadcasting today from the National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    LESLIE: That’s right. It’s an annual event. It’s huge in scale and it’s also huge in fun, folks. And this is …

    TOM: But very tiring. (chuckle)

    LESLIE: Exactly. I mean lots of walking and lots of eye candy. I mean it really is visual stimulation 24/7 and that’s not just Vegas; it’s what’s on the show floor. This is the place where members of the retail industry; they come here to find out about the newest and the best products in home improvement and then decide which ones are cool enough to make it to a store shelf near you. It’s like going window shopping on the most enormous scale possible.

    TOM: We are like kids in a candy store skipping down the aisles here checking out these cool products. We also learn a lot at trade shows, including this: trends to look out for. One thing we know is that outdoor living is getting more involved than ever before; you know, with fireplace entertainment centers, fully stocked outdoor kitchens. Everything is moving outside. And to help you protect those outdoor spaces, whether you are at home or enjoying a getaway perhaps down at the beach or camping, we found a pretty cool portable security system called the YETI and here to talk about that with us is Dave Holstein, the President and CEO of Trident Security Concepts.

    Hi, Dave.

    DAVE: Hi, how are you?

    TOM: Now when you hear The YETI you imagine the yeti monster (Leslie chuckles) coming out. Does the monster jump out of the box and come to scare you away?

    DAVE: No, but it’s intended to do just that; scare somebody off your stuff.

    TOM: And all kidding aside, it’s designed to fill a very specific niche which is how to protect your stuff when it’s portable, really.

    DAVE: Exactly.

    TOM: So how does it work?

    DAVE: Well, there’s a key fob that comes along with the unit, that you can control a number of different sensors. You drop the system around your gear – whatever it is: tools on a boat dock; back of a pickup; whatever; arm the unit and if it detects an intruder or somebody trying to get your stuff it’ll sound the alarm or it will call you through your cell phone.

    TOM: Now it’s got two …

    LESLIE: Who’s to say I’m not going to run away with the Yeti also as I’m stealing everything? (Tom chuckles)

    DAVE: Well, they’ve got nothing but a squealing box (Leslie chuckles), at the end of the day, with that but we also sell a little accessory to chain it down if you need to as well. So …

    TOM: Cool. Now it has two different sensor technologies. It’s got a movement sensor; like a bump sensor, you say?

    DAVE: A bump sensor. So if, for example, it’s in the back of a pickup or something like that, you can set it to trigger based on jostling the unit itself. But in addition it’s got two other motion sensors: one out the front that goes to 25 feet; one out the back goes to 12 and you can select any combination of those and – so those are the sensor technologies.

    TOM: This is a super-cool product and it’s a great Fathers Day gift. So in fact, we’ve been – you’ve been kind enough to give us a few of these to give away …

    DAVE: That’s right.

    TOM: … on The Money Pit. We’re going to be giving these out to callers in the coming weeks.

    Now you also mention it’ll call your cell phone. Is that because it has – does it have a Bluetooth technology?

    DAVE: It does. What you do is pair the YETI with a cell phone and effectively now it’s capable of calling any place; your cell phone or your home or whatever.

    TOM: Fantastic. Dave Hollstien, President and CEO of Trident Security Concepts, thanks for filling us in on the Yeti and the website is MyYETI.com.

    DAVE: Thank you very much.

    LESLIE: Alright, well the YETI would be a great way to keep your garage workshop safe; especially while you’re working around the back, say, and not monitoring everything that’s going on with your tools. And since this – you know, we’re seeing garages being expanded as part of your home to make room for hobbies and projects that just don’t have space indoors and now innovative garage projects are turning this space into truly luxurious locations.

    TOM: And that’s a trend we’re definitely seeing here at the National Hardware Show. Garage organization is a booming business. The National Association of Professional Organizers considers the garage the final frontier in home organization. I don’t think I have crossed the final frontier at my house yet.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) Since Star Trek? No. (chuckles)

    TOM: Exactly, but there’s about 500 professional garage organizer companies out there nationally and that actually is double the number that it was in 2000.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and that means that the things you would traditionally find in your garage – like maybe your washer and dryer – could be moving elsewhere; perhaps near your bedroom or even into the kitchen.

    TOM: And that brings us to a great new product called the KE Shake Away Plus. It started out as a product for industrial use but consumer demand is making this a must-have for homeowners everywhere. This is a pad, folks, that goes under the washing machine and serves many purposes. Here to explain is Beverly Davis, the VP of Sales and Marketing for Kellett Enterprises.

    Hi, Beverly.

    BEVERLY: Hi, how are you doing today?

    TOM: Now your product has a really interesting history. You were telling me that the idea actually hatched from some very creative and resourceful consumers that found your sort of industrial website.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely. We have fallen into the retail market quite by accident. Approximately three years ago consumers who had purchased the high-efficiency washing machines would search the internet; would find our industrial website …

    TOM: OK.

    BEVERLY: … which is Kellett Enterprises and ask us to come up with a solution to the vibration that was caused in the homes by these high-efficiency washing machines.

    TOM: Now what were your industrial products used for? Are these for like factory machines and (inaudible at 0:14:48.9)?

    BEVERLY: Absolutely, and we still sell these. We export these internationally. They were developed originally – it was the LP 13 Shake Away – or Vibration Isolation Pad. They go across – for the textile industry and we still use it in the textile industry.

    TOM: Now I’m looking at this pad and it looks like it’s laminated. It’s made of several different layers and we should explain that these are about two inches by two inches square approximately; so one would go under each leg of the washing machine.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely.

    TOM: And since the washing machines today have become more high-efficient, that’s got a very fast spin cycle I know and …

    LESLIE: Mm-hmm, well they’re taking up so much more water …

    TOM: Right.

    LESLIE: … to become so efficient.

    TOM: Right. So how does this actually absorb that vibration?

    BEVERLY: It will take the mechanical properties of the vibration …

    TOM: OK.

    BEVERLY: … convert it to heat energy and …

    TOM: OK, and then dissipate it?

    BEVERLY: Disperse it evenly throughout the pad.

    TOM: Ah, OK.

    BEVERLY: It is actually a vibration isolation pad.

    TOM: I see.

    BEVERLY: One of the misconceptions is that the machine will not vibrate anymore. That is not correct. What it does, it prevents the vibration from transferring to the floor.

    TOM: OK, OK.

    LESLIE: Interesting. Now sometimes we’ve heard of, you know, bathmats that have that vinyl backing. Sometimes we’ve seen that bath mat actually discolor the flooring surface because of some sort of chemical reaction. Does that happen with this pad?

    BEVERLY: No, it is unaffected by any grease, solvents, washing detergents. It’s unaffected completely.

    TOM: Now what do these cost?

    BEVERLY: 29.95.

    TOM: Wow, that’s a great price and I bet that if you use this it probably can help the machine last a little bit longer, too.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely.

    TOM: Yeah.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely.

    LESLIE: What if you’re dealing with a washing machine that still has to be over or placed into a water pan? Can you utilize this within that as well?

    BEVERLY: Absolutely. If you put it inside – you put it inside the pan as opposed to outside the pan.

    LESLIE: Now when the consumers started e-mailing you guys, were you just suddenly, Beverly, like a light bulb went off (Tom chuckles); like why didn’t you guys think of this first yourselves? (Beverly laughs)

    TOM: You’re like, ‘Hey, wait a minute.’

    BEVERLY: Well, we pinched ourselves first (Leslie chuckles) because we didn’t have an entry into the retail market because we work strictly with industrial and commercial folks and we were just delighted to be able to provide this to the homeowner. Our ultimate goal is to reduce the vibration to a satisfactory level.

    TOM: Yeah, and you know so many more laundry rooms are up on second floors, which makes it even worse.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely.

    TOM: We all grew up the basement was the place to go.

    BEVERLY: Absolutely.

    TOM: Alright, fantastic. Thank you so much for …

    BEVERLY: Thank you.

    TOM: … stopping by The Money Pit and telling us all about the KE Shake Away Pad.

    Well, the number one topic we get asked about on this show is floors, including the type of flooring and how to care for them.

    LESLIE: We’re going to talk to a flooring expert next about the recent changes in flooring options and how you can care for these new fancy floors. Stick around.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCEMENT: The Money Pit is brought to you by Behr Premium Plus Ultra Exterior paint and primer in one with advanced NanoGuard technology to help you save time and money while preserving your home’s exterior finish. For more information, visit Behr.com. That’s B-e-h-r.com. Behr products are available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Making good homes better, welcome back to the Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: A very exciting show today. We’re broadcasting from the floor of the 2008 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas. This is where all the bigwigs in retail go shopping for the stuff that will eventually end up on store shelves right near you.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and while we’re here we’re also doing some trend watching and we want to report that, again, we hear at Team Money Pit are ahead of the curve; in fact, our most called-about topic on our radio show is flooring and we’ve noticed lots of new flooring options here as well as brand new ways to take care of these new floors.

    TOM: Joining us to talk about some of those trends is JC Burkman (sp), VP of Sales at Beaumont Products.

    Hi, JC.

    JC: How you doing, Tom?

    TOM: Excellent. And you say there’s been some changes in floor care and the hard surfaces that are available today. What has – what have you guys seen that’s changed in the last 10 years?

    JC: Well, in the last 10 years floor care has moved from wall-to-wall carpeting to a lot more hard surfaces in the home today; marble and granite countertops, hardwood floors, exotic hardwood floors, cement and tile are basically some of the new products that are out there today versus what was out there 10 years ago with wall-to-wall carpet.

    LESLIE: And I think with a lot of these new options as far as material choices are concerned, we’re seeing a lot of people think differently about how they clean and maintain these surfaces as well.

    JC: That’s correct. I mean the old mop and bucket is pretty much history in the modern household today for …

    LESLIE: I don’t even own a mop. (JC and Tom chuckle)

    JC: Well, there’s quite a few people that don’t. (Leslie chuckles) Basically microfiber dust mops with a spray applicator is how a lot of people are taking care of their floors today; with specialized cleaners, with hardwood floor cleaners that are designed specifically not to wet the floor too much and to clean those products the same with tile, marble and granite; those types of things.

    TOM: JC, it seems that sort of what’s old is new again. If you think about, you know, when our grandparents grew up, they used a lot of natural floor cleaners; then we went to, you know, the best chemicals for your project; and now green is back in a very big way. People are looking for environmentally safe alternatives. Now your product has been around through all of those years and you really were way ahead of the trend.

    JC: Well, that’s absolutely right. We’ve been around since 1935. Trewax; Citrus Magic, another product line, is a natural product line and we feel like we’re pioneers in that industry.

    TOM: Well let’s talk about Trewax. Talk about how that works to clean hard surfaces.

    JC: Well, Trewax, we have a specialized formula for hard surfaces. It’s designed not to leave a film or residue.

    TOM: Right.

    JC: Very effective cleaners. It has optical brighteners; things that’ll make the tile shine.

    TOM: Has optical brighteners. (Leslie chuckles) See now I didn’t know that was a part of a floor cleaning product. That’s cool.

    JC: Well, it is and that’s what provides a sparkle in the floor …

    TOM: Alright.

    JC: … when it’s nice and clean is, you know, optical brighteners.

    LESLIE: Well, for many of us who are not mop owners, how do we apply it?

    JC: Well, you apply it with a spray bottle and then you have either microfiber dust mop that you would –

    LESLIE: Got one of those. (chuckles)

    JC: OK, and you spray the product out and then you wipe it with a dust mop and that’s pretty much how it’s done today. I mean people are looking for more ways to save time –

    TOM: Right.

    JC: – quicker, faster, better, easier – and that’s really where the new spray applicators come in, the new products with Trewax, designed specifically for specific applications that are also very numerous in today’s world.

    TOM: Well, I want you to send me some of this product.

    JC: I certainly will.

    TOM: Because I’ve got dirty floors. (Leslie and JC chuckle)

    Hey, before I let you go, I want to ask you about Citrus Magic. We’ve – you actually have been a sponsor of our show on Citrus Magic and before you came on we asked you to send us some of it so that we could test it out and I’ve got to tell you I was very impressed that this is the only air freshener that I’ve ever noticed that you could spray at one end of the house and wafts all the way to the other end and is still strong. What is the formula and how’d you guys kind of come up with this?

    JC: Well, the formula, it’s 100 percent natural citrus products. Basically it’s an odor eliminator, not an odor cover-up.

    TOM: Right.

    JC: It kills the odor. We don’t have any gas, water, any fillers of any kind in our natural spray.

    TOM: So the difference, when you said ‘odor eliminator,’ most – are most air fresheners cover-up? There’s so much perfume in there, so to speak, that it sort of totally masks it? Is that the idea?

    JC: Well that’s it. Our product, it eliminates odors; it does not mask it. And that’s why it’s been such a successful product.

    TOM: It’s a natural product is what.

    JC: Yeah, it’s 100 percent natural. It also has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval, been tested and it’s widely accepted and it’s the only actually natural product that’s 100 percent natural that has a natural 100 percent advertising across the country.

    TOM: Fantastic. JC Burkman (sp) from Beaumont Products, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit and make sure that those shoes remain comfortable as you stroll this million-square-foot space. (Leslie chuckles)

    JC: Well, it’s certainly a big show and a lot of new things here to see and great to be here and thank you for having me.

    TOM: You’re very welcome.

    LESLIE: Thanks, JC.

    Well, some of you listening right now may want to get away from those harsh chemicals to clean and maintain your bathrooms, including the plumbing. Up next, we are going to talk about a new drain pipe and some new plumbing fixtures so stick around.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Ryobi, manufacturer of professional-feature power tools and accessories with an affordable price for the do-it-yourselfer. Ryobi Power Tools. Pro features. Affordable price. Available exclusively at The Home Depot. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: A very special edition of The Money Pit being brought to you from the floor of the 2008 National Hardware Show where we’re seeing a resurgence in green products and our next guest is here to tell us about a product that is very green. His name is Sanjay Ahuja. I hope I said that right, Sanjay. He’s vice president of PF WaterWorks. This company makes a product called PermaFLOW that is fantastic. Now let’s talk about what PermaFLOW is.

    First of all, it’s a P trap and for those of you that don’t know what a P trap is it’s that U-shaped pipe that’s under the sink where everything gets stuck.

    LESLIE: Where all your rings get stuck.

    SANJAY: Precisely. All your debris gets stuck; you get all the sewer gases, bad odor, you pour chemicals. So with PermaFLOW you don’t have to do any of that. It’s an inline drain cleaning device. You replace your P trap with PermaFLOW and you never have to pour any chemicals; you don’t deal with plunging, snaking or having frustrating moments when you have guests at home.

    TOM: Now there are really four advantages to this. First of all, the way you’ve designed the trap – that’s sort of the U part – it builds up turbulence.

    SANJAY: Precisely. The design here generates turbulence and does not allow any sort of debris to stay within the trap area itself and it propels it out; so essentially you don’t have any buildup or contaminants getting built up into the trap area.

    TOM: Now in my house, with three kids and lots of soap and hair and shampoos that are getting stuck in the drains …

    LESLIE: And sometimes toys.

    TOM: … and sometimes toys – right – if something does get stuck in this, what’s most ingenious about this PermaFLOW is you actually have a snaking device – for lack of a better word – built into it. It’s a paddle that when you spin it 360 degrees actually squeegees clean the inside of the drain.

    SANJAY: Precisely. What we call a wiper and that wiper is essentially like a swiper like your wiper or squeegee that cleans up your windshield. This cleans up your PermaFLOW inside and so you essentially don’t have any sort of debris or leftover contaminants left in your trap area which means you’re not dealing with chemicals; you’re also not dealing with any indoor air quality issues.

    TOM: Now the other thing that the wiper does is if you drop something like a piece of jewelry down it, the wiper actually lifts it up so that you can retrieve it out …

    SANJAY: Fantastic. It’s a very cool tool to take out jewelry without having to open the trap and exposed to your gases.

    TOM: It could save marriages. (Leslie chuckles)

    Sanjay Ahuja from PF WaterWorks, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    SANJAY: Appreciate it, Tom. Enjoyed it.

    LESLIE: Alright, well that’s very cool. And now sticking with plumbing we’re going to move to the parts of the sink that you can see and Moen frequently leads the way in giving consumers what they want and when they want it and the folks here have a keen eye on trends and they jump on them.

    TOM: New this year, the Level collection and here to tell us about it is Beth Wallach (sp).

    Beth, year after year Moen is on the cutting edge of what consumers want. Why is that so important to you guys?

    BETH: Hi, there. Yes, we really pride ourselves on the different kinds of consumer research we do. We have many people within our organization dedicated to staying on top of trends. We have partnerships with organizations that are on the leading front of seeing what trends are coming out year after year. So we do really keep our eye on that and we are committed to producing what consumers want. We spend a lot of time with consumer research and are really proud to put forth designs and technology that really fits into consumers’ lifestyles.

    LESLIE: Well and the design, I think, on the Level collection is really a case where you’re seeing form and function truly meet. I mean it’s a beautiful fixture and I like that you’ve sort of gone back to a chrome finish as a trend; especially since last year you and I were just talking about gold being a trend.

    BETH: Yes, I know and we’re pretty proud of it, too. You know, we limited ourselves to chrome and a classic stainless finish but you’re right; it really has a sleek design, it’s refined, it’s not overdone and I think it just makes such a dramatic statement all on its own. You don’t need a lot of fuss around it and it really highlights a kitchen, you know, just by using a faucet.

    TOM: And Beth, besides being really gorgeous, you have some interesting technology in this. First you have Life Shine, which is a lifetime finish, and then something called Hydrolock which sounds to me like it makes it really easy to install it.

    BETH: Yes, it is. It’s a technology we use for installation that literally – we call it the Hydrolock quick connect and there’s an audible click when it’s connected properly; so it really eliminates all those frustrations when you’re trying to install a faucet and especially with a pullout wand there’s some additional intricacies of installation but with the Hydrolock it makes it so easy.

    TOM: So you don’t need as many tools either, I imagine.

    BETH: Not as many tools; a lot less time spent under the counter trying to get the installation done and again, with that click you know when you’re complete and you don’t have to worry about a thing.

    TOM: Fantastic. Beth Wallach (sp) from Moen, thanks for stopping by The Money Pit.

    If you want more information call 800-Buy-Moen.

    This is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. Up next, a product that solves a storage problem while giving you a great way to haul that stuff around.

    (theme song)

    ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is being brought to you by Guardian Home Standby Generators, America’s choice in power outage protection. Learn more at GuardianGenerators.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.

    TOM: Making good homes better, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. We are broadcasting a special edition of the program today from Las Vegas, the site of the 2008 National Hardware Show and this is where the Home Depots, the Wal-Marts, the Lowe’s and hardware stores and other retailers, big and small, come to do their window shopping. You do your shopping; they do their shopping right here and they’re looking for the products that will eventually make it to the store shelves near you.

    LESLIE: Yeah, and one of the things that we’ve noticed here is that manufacturers are specifically targeting newly married couples more than ever before and in fact, there’s a huge trend toward couples registering at your local hardware store for things that they can really use and will put to use when they get their first money pit instead of that special China that only comes out once a year around the holidays.

    TOM: Well, newlyweds and first-time homeowners might especially appreciate the next product we’re going to talk about. It’s a utility trailer. Now where in the world do you keep a utility trailer, you ask? Well, this one can be stored pretty much anywhere because it folds down for storage in less than 90 seconds. Here to tell us more about the Lifetime Fold-Up Utility Trailer is Phil Mickey.

    Hey, Phil.

    PHIL: How are you guys today?

    TOM: We are excellent and it seems that you’ve opened up a big market for yourselves here by solving the reason that people who need a trailer don’t buy one because they can’t –

    LESLIE: Nowhere to keep them.

    TOM: – they can’t fit. So tell us about this fold-up design. Describe it for our listeners.

    PHIL: Well, it literally all started with that problem. Everybody – you know, people want to have a utility trailer but they don’t want to store a utility trailer on the side of their house or out in the driveway. So we created one that folds up. It folds up basically half its size. It folds to 29 inches in width; it does it in less than 90 seconds and it’s something that you can simply fold it up, lift it up, push it on its own wheels. You can push it into the back end of the garage; you can push it on the side of the car or even through a standard gate into the backyard. So haul away and then put it out of sight.

    TOM: This is certainly handy for those of us that are used to having the 2x4s stick out the back window of the SUV with the flag on it. (chuckling)

    LESLIE: (overlapping voices) (chuckling) With the flag on them.

    PHIL: (overlapping voices) Exactly.

    TOM: You know, one time I was carrying 2x4s; I actually had a pickup truck but they were really long so, Leslie, I had them through that little opera window like in the back of the cab. And then we had to stop …

    LESLIE: Yeah, and then they went through your front window?

    TOM: They did. They did. We had to stop short; they went right through. What I like about this is that you can unfold it; you know, go out to the home center; pick up all the materials for your project or go get a load of mulch or whatever you need and then take it back after you’re done using it; just crank it closed and put it away.

    PHIL: Exactly.

    LESLIE: Well, because we’re seeing this folding mechanism and it’s becoming so portable, if you will, does it affect the weight-bearing or the load-bearing capacity that these trailers would have normally?

    PHIL: You know what, Leslie? It does not. It holds anywhere from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds depending on the size. We do have three sizes – you know, a smaller one up to a standard 5×8 – and it’s just as durable as a standard utility trailer. That’s – you know, and that’s something that our customers, they’re very pleased to see and they have a hard time believing the first time they see it but it’s a solid-built trailer and …

    TOM: Now is this trailer road-legal, so to speak? I mean do you need tail lights, things like that?

    PHIL: It is road legal and it does – it has, you know, your standard hookups; it has, you know, a full wire harness, full tail lights, brake lights, the whole thing. So …

    TOM: Wow. And the pricing is really affordable. The 4×6 is 899?

    PHIL: That’s correct.

    TOM: That’s great. Where can we go to get more information?

    PHIL: The best way to go is to visit us online at Lifetime.com and you can see all the different models that we have and it’ll also point you in the direction to find the trailer at a local market near you. We sell it at Sam’s, Costco; we also sell it at Sears.

    TOM: And you guys also help us store a lot of stuff with your shed products, so we really appreciate having you around.

    PHIL: Yes, and our sheds are outstanding. I know Leslie has had experience with them.

    TOM: She’s talked about …

    LESLIE: Hey, and I love your folding tables, so … (chuckles)

    PHIL: Yes.

    TOM: Phil Mickey, thanks so much for stopping by The Money Pit.

    PHIL: (overlapping voices) Thank you very much.

    TOM: You’ve been listening to The Money Pit broadcast live from the 2008 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on this show and the many new products and information we’ve learned about today, go to MoneyPit.com where the show continues online. I’m Tom Kraeutler.

    LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.

    TOM: Remember, you can do it yourself …

    LESLIE: But you don’t have to do it alone.

    (theme song)


    (Copyright 2008 Squeaky Door Productions, Inc. No portion of this transcript or audio file may be reproduced in any format without the express written permission of Squeaky Door Productions, Inc.)

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