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.)
BEGIN HOUR 1 TEXT:
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: The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT. 888-666-3974. If you like to fix stuff that’s not broken, you are in exactly the right place. (Leslie chuckles) Call us. We’ll help you do just that. And we’ll help you fix the stuff that is broken around your house, all available right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
We have a good show planned for you today. Lots of great information, starting with the fact that it’s time to get the lawn mower cranked up all over again. And that’s a time which includes that dreaded first pull of the starter cord, followed by the second pull of the starter cord …
LESLIE: (overlapping voices) Second and third. (laughing)
TOM: … and the third and the fourth, followed by the dislocated shoulder. (Leslie chuckling) We’ve all been there. And that’s why, this hour, we’re going to have tips for a mower tune-up that will have you firing on the first try in just a few minutes.
LESLIE: And unless you have a crystal ball, the chances are that you can’t predict a leak before it occurs. Well, fear not because Tom and I do have a crystal ball. (ghostly laugh) (Tom chuckles) Not exactly. But we’re going to show you how to spot leaks before they occur or before they get so bad that the repair is expensive and super costly.
TOM: And this hour, we’re also giving away a brand new addition to Ryobi’s One+ line. It’s a garden sprayer worth 100 bucks. So call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Leslie, who’s up first?
LESLIE: James in New Jersey finds The Money Pit on WABC. And you’re getting cold showers, huh?
JAMES: Oh, yeah. Yeah, we have to wait a little bit for the hot water to come up. I guess it’s because the newer homes are larger – I did some reading on it – and the supply line to make it to the top is – takes a good minute for the water to heat up. I mean we have a well. It’s not like we’re paying for it but it’s a waste of water.
LESLIE: And you have no problem getting the hot water on the first floor. It’s just the bathrooms on the second floor.
JAMES: Yeah, this is a new – this is a new modular home. And what my plumber did was he tried us on those new Rinnais. The Insta-Hot?
LESLIE: Oh, the tankless heater.
JAMES: And we have two of them in the basement and they’re wonderful. I mean you can never run out of hot water. He was concerned in the future if we had a hot tub going or anything.
JAMES: And it does do all that. But what it is is you wake up in the morning when the water’s not being used and circulated, you have to wait for it to heat up before you can jump in the shower.
TOM: And that’s just a factor, James, of how far the distance is between the water heater and the fixture itself. Now, if he put two tankless water heaters in, what he probably could have done that would have solved this …
LESLIE: Is put the second one near the bathroom.
JAMES: Right. Well, they direct vent in the basement.
TOM: Yeah, I understand that but it doesn’t – they don’t take a lot of space up and that’s why, when you have tankless, an advantage of the small footprint of a tankless water heater is that you can put them in areas that you normally wouldn’t be able to get a second water heater; like a second-floor closet. I mean a direct vent only really takes a small amount of area to get through the wall to the outside, so it’s a lot easier to place it there.
That being said, I don’t have a big – I don’t have a solution for you right now because it’s a problem of the distance between the water heater and the faucet.
JAMES: Right, right. Well, I had done some reading and I was talking him into it. He said Rinnai sort of had a way to do it by – see what the problem is is …
TOM: Well look, you can – if you want to do a recirculating loop where you bring the hot water back so it’s always hot …
JAMES: That’s what I’d like to do.
TOM: Well, you can do that but you can throw all the efficiency of that tankless right out the window with it. Because now you’ve got a boiler that’s keeping that pipe hot all the time.
TOM: Even when you don’t need it. So that means you’re going to run so much gas. You worried about wasting water? It’s going to be a lot cheaper to waste water than it is to waste gas.
James, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Thomas in Florida’s got a slab of his house that’s cracking up. What can we do for you?
THOMAS: I’m a first-time home buyer. Getting ready to close the deal on a land contract. Discovered some cracks in the foundation of my house that were not visible or accessible during the time of the home inspection.
THOMAS: Actually, underneath the carpeting because the house has …
THOMAS: … wall-to-wall carpeting throughout probably 90 percent of the house and the rest of it’s linoleum. I began to become worried that there was a problem when I noticed a vertical crack running up the wall – an interior wall – and decided to pull the carpet back and look down there and I discovered a crack that was moving laterally. And there was enough room down there to put at least a nickel or a quarter in almost all of it. And I’d say that crack probably spans about 20 feet and that’s just in one area.
Now my question is because I signed the contract and agreed to buy the house as is, what are my legal rights pertaining to the as-is clause of buying a house and getting my deposit back if I feel that the defect was not disclosed or a latent defect?
TOM: Well, those are certainly mitigating circumstances. Your question’s really a legal question, Tom, that we really can’t address directly because it’s a question for an attorney to review your contract and make those sorts of arguments. If there’s any evidence that the owner knew about the issue ahead of time, you know, that can also help your case.
But let’s first discuss how much concern you should have about these cracks. What I would certainly do right now is get the home inspector back in or get a structural engineer back in to be able to look at the whole picture now that the carpet is up and determine what the condition is of the building. I will say that cracks are very, very common. So the fact that you have a 20-foot-long crack in your slab does not necessarily in and of itself frighten me because I’ve seen them many times before. Usually they happen very early on in the home’s construction …
LESLIE: And then don’t change throughout the rest of the time.
TOM: … and then they just don’t change. Yeah. You also – and now the plot is sort of thickening because now you’ve got a crack that’s near – a crack in the floor going up a wall. You know, this could be evidence of active movement but you really need to get that opinion professionally so you know how much of a problem you have. And then that’s going to help you determine, you know, how much of a fight you want to put up with your prospective home seller over this issue.
But those are the issues you need to identify: how much of a problem is this – get professionals to tell you that; at the same time, get in touch with a lawyer to flush out what your rights are under the terms of that contract.
THOMAS: Right, that sounds like good advice. I think the one problem that I do think I keep running into is that anybody that’s actually responsible for the repairing basically dismissed it as cosmetic or inconsequential.
TOM: Well, that’s why you don’t want to talk to anybody that’s responsible to repair it. You want to actually talk with someone who is going to give you independent, expert advice.
THOMAS: OK, well that sounds good. I’ll follow up on that and I’ll definitely do that before I go to my attorney so I can prepare any evidence …
TOM: Yeah, he’s going to tell you to do the same thing anyway so you might as well get the information up front.
THOMAS: OK. Well, it sounds good, guys.
TOM: Tom, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Going on, now, to South Carolina with Banks. What’s your question? Something about wallpaper and a popcorn ceiling? How can we help?
BANKS: Absolutely. We’ve got a situation we just moved into and we’re kind of (INAUDIBLE). We’ve got some hideous wallpaper and some lovely popcorn ceilings that we’re trying to get rid of altogether. And I just wanted to know, first off …
LESLIE: Banks, if you wait long enough, it’ll come back in style. (Banks laughs)
TOM: Yeah, those are antiques. How dare you remove them. (laughing)
BANKS: (laughing) That’s what my wife was wondering but I don’t think this particular thing is going to come back in. And we were just wondering if it’s appropriate to do it all at once; both together in the same room. And then secondly, just some smart methods for making it happen.
TOM: Well, I’ll tell you. They’re both messy jobs so I think it does make sense to do it all at once and have it behind you. Because I can’t imagine you’d want to break this misery into two projects.
LESLIE: And is it for real a popcorn ceiling? Like do you feel it like popping off? Or is it more of like a stiff texture?
BANKS: It’s very stiff.
TOM: OK. Here’s what you’re going to have to do. First of all, let’s talk about the popcorn ceiling because that’s going to probably be the most difficult. What you’re going to want to do is probably wet that down and then scrape off the texture part. You’ll need a spackle knife; a regular spackle blade like the kind you use to apply …
LESLIE: Get like a good, wide one.
TOM: Yeah, a good, wide one. And dampen it and work it a little bit at a time all the way across the room. The goal here is to take off the texture without too much damaging the drywall underneath it.
Once it’s all off you’re going to need to prime the ceiling. But before you prime the ceiling, let’s tackle that wallpaper because that’s going to need a coat of primer, too.
LESLIE: Yeah, for the wallpaper the best bet is just rent a steamer. If you can rent a steamer and then really saturate that wallpaper and work in sections and really get that glue behind – you know, that adhesive – loosened up, you should be able to peel it away in fairly large pieces. You know, you don’t want to get one of those cutting devices that sort of rips it into a million little pieces and then shred it because then you’re pulling off tiny little bits. And then you could be damaging whatever is underneath; if it’s the drywall or whatever was the substructure. But just really steam it. It’s going to be wet in there. It’s going to be messy. But if you work together you can get this room done.
TOM: You know, come to think of it, since you’re going to rent a steamer anyway, that would probably work just as well as wetting down the popcorn. So you may be able to do both projects with the same machine. Basically it’s getting a lot of humidity and moisture into it that’s going to loosen the material up and make it separate. But once you get it all done, make sure your prime the ceiling and the wall surfaces so you have something neutral to start the new project with. And on that popcorn ceiling, when you repaint it make sure you use flat paint; only flat paint. Because if you use anything with a sheen, you’re going to see like every scar where the popcorn used to be.
Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, alright. So, are you thinking about selling your home? Well, we can help you get your home in shape whether you’re moving or you’re staying right where you are. Because you can call in your home repair or your home improvement, even a home design question, 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
Up next, you’ve probably done a spring car tune-up but what about a lawn mower tune up. Learn what to do before you hit the turf, after this.
ANNOUNCER: This portion of The Money Pit is brought to you by Aprilaire, makers of professionally-installed, high-efficiency air cleaners. For more information, go to Aprilaire.com. Now, here are Tom and Leslie.
TOM: Putting the improvement back in home improvement, this is The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: Call us now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT with your home improvement question because one person we talk to this hour is going to win a Ryobi One+ garden sprayer. It’s worth 100 bucks and it’s one of the four new One+ tools for lawn and garden care from our friends at Ryobi. They all use the very same 18-volt battery and charger for every single tool. If you’d like to win you’ve got to call, you’ve got to be willing to come on the air. The number is 1-888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Alright. Have you been dreading starting your mower up for the first time? It is lawn mower season after all, folks. So, before you rev up that lawn mower, here are some things you want to do. You want to check the spark plug wire connection, then check the blade and sharpen any dullness that you find with a file. Then clean it inside and out, make sure you lubricate all of the moving parts, including the wheels. And don’t use last year’s gasoline. You make sure that you empty out the tank and start fresh. If you do these things next fall as well, it’s going to keep everything in great shape while you stow it away for the winter.
TOM: And if you need a little video help, you can log onto YouTube.com/MoneyPit because I happen to have a video on there on how to do all of those steps.
LESLIE: It’s like the quickest lawn mower maintenance. You will learn so much in 30 seconds.
TOM: (chuckling) That’s right. At YouTube.com/MoneyPit.
Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: David in New York listens to The Money Pit on WABC. What can we do for you here at The Money Pit?
DAVID: Yes, my name is Dave. I live up in Brewster, New York and I have a house that was built in 1834 and I have a little problem that maybe you can help me with.
DAVID: Well, the house is built on a Fieldstone foundation. And it gets a little bit – a little bit damp. I’ve tried my best to keep it as dry I could. And I – it’s an unfinished concrete floor that was poured in different portions. It wasn’t something that a cement truck came and put a nice slab down. I think it was probably a dirt floor that eventually they added little pieces of concrete here and there.
What I’d like to know is what kind of a finish can I put on that floor? I tried one finish, like this lock. It’s called Water Lock and I put it down and it looked good for a while. But it started flaking off. I was just wondering if there’s anything I can use.
LESLIE: So, is your goal to have a floor that looks attractive or are you hoping to have a level floor and then make it attractive?
DAVID: Well, I’ll tell you. While I’d like to have a level floor – and I’m just looking for something that you don’t get dust from because what I noticed, I could sweep that floor like twice a week and still get a shovel full of grit from this – the old concrete.
TOM: You know, any type of a paint that you put on there is not going to reduce this problem because your issue here is a deteriorated concrete surface.
TOM: You have to use a concrete resurfacer first. There is a product …
LESLIE: What about coating the floor with AboCrete?
TOM: You beat me to it. (chuckling)
LESLIE: We did the same for our basement. We had a lot of moisture. The concrete subfloor was crumbling. We didn’t know about it because it was under carpeting. When we took it up, it was a mess. Well, four bags of AboCrete later and, you know, working on the floor, it’s basically a compound that adheres to the concrete. It’s leveling and it makes that surface even and durable. And then we went and put a laminate floor over it. But you, at that point then, could do an epoxy coating, which gives you a super-shiny, sealed-in, nice color that is durable and you won’t be sweeping up any dust from the concrete with that.
DAVID: So in other words – so in other words, like I would trowel on – trowel it on the spots where I want to level it off? But what would I do with the rest of the surface? Just put a skim coat on top of if?
TOM: You’re going to have to put a skim coat across the whole surface.
TOM: Yeah. The product is made by Abatron – A-b-a-t-r-o-n.
LESLIE: I love that name.
TOM: Go to Abatron.com and you can find a place to actually buy it online …
LESLIE: A retailer list.
TOM: … or find a retailer. Now, once you have the material down, you know, then you can use like an epoxy; a two-part epoxy garage floor paint or a basement floor paint. Like QUIKRETE makes one, for example. Or Rust-Oleum makes one. Those are all good. But if you have bad – if you have a deteriorated concrete surface, then the paint’s just going to come right up again. That’s why you have to restore this concrete surface first.
DAVID: Guys, thank you very much. You’ve got a great show. Keep up the great work.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Grouting in Georgia, that’s what Kim’s doing. How can we help you?
KIM: Yes, we have some tile that was put down about a year ago. And our grout is coming up and I have little holes in it. And I was wanting to know can you grout over that?
TOM: Is it floor tile or a wall tile?
KIM: It’s floor tile.
LESLIE: That sounds like the subfloor is off kilter. Because that seems to be like there’s a lot of movement.
TOM: Yeah, the floor surface is moving. Is it over a wood floor? Was it installed over wood?
KIM: It was wood and then put some backer board down.
KIM: But I think the person who installed it didn’t let it sit because he did it all in one day.
TOM: Well, that might not be the – it might not be that he didn’t let it sit but it definitely sounds like it doesn’t have any kind of a mud base to it. It’s basically – the reason you’re getting grout that’s breaking is because you have movement in the floor as you walk over it and stuff. So the grout is – basically it doesn’t bend; it breaks.
LESLIE: I mean you’re lucky it’s not breaking the tiles.
TOM: Are these big, wide tiles or are they smaller tiles?
KIM: They’re the 12×12.
TOM: Well, you’re lucky because tiles don’t bend. They crack. So you’re fortunate …
LESLIE: So the movement just seems to be really affecting grout …
LESLIE: … but it’s possible that it could affect the tile and start snapping things.
KIM: Oh, no.
TOM: I’ll give you a solution. Now, this may involve removing all of the grout. Well no, actually I’m going to back out. You know what I was thinking, Leslie? There is a – there’s a tile product that is called Edge Flooring and it’s sold in Lowe’s. And it’s basically tile on a fiberboard backer. And what’s cool about the system is that the grout that you put in, it comes in a can that looks like a Cheez Whiz can. So that when you squeeze …
LESLIE: Plus, you squeeze it right in.
TOM: You squeeze it in there and it remains just a little bit flexible. But if I had a floor with a lot of movement, that would be a possible solution. But in this case, Kim, I suspect that the floor was not prepped properly. This may be a problem that is like ongoing. And so, the best short term solution for you is just to get some grout mix, hopefully find the same color and continually patch it. Because I’m afraid that even if you do pull it out it’s just going to happen again. You may just have to stay on top of it. Hopefully it’s not a lot that’s coming out. Just a little bit coming out.
KIM: I really appreciate your answer.
TOM: Alright, Kim. Good luck with that project and thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Gary in Nebraska’s beefing up insulation in the house. And you’ve got a question about r value. What can we do for you?
GARY: Yes, we were trying to determine what the r value of an existing wall was and wondered if we could stack layers of styrofoam floor to ceiling and measure the outside temperature, the temperature of the wall and the room temperature and determine the r value of the wall by that.
TOM: Well, if you tell me the wall construction you can figure out what the r value of the wall is. What’s the wall physically made out of?
GARY: Well, it’s a wood siding and sheetrock, but without knowing how much insulation is in between (INAUDIBLE).
TOM: Well, you can determine that. What you want to do is you want to take the outlet covers off – the electrical outlets – get a strong flashlight. And you can usually poke around the area where the drywall’s cut around the electrical outlet box and determine whether or not there is insulation in there.
Now, assuming it’s a standard four-inch wall – 2×4 wall – and you have three – four inches of insulation in there, what you have is an r13 insulating area. And then the wood doesn’t really add much to it so you can figure the total thing’s probably got an r13 or r14; not very much. But if you’re trying to determine where you need to add insulation to your house, the priorities should be, Gary, to start in the attic. The ceiling is the first place you want to insulate. That’s where you have most of your heat loss. So you do the attic first, then you do the walls and then you do the floors, in that order; kind of working your way down. If it turns out that the walls don’t have insulation in it, then you could also add insulation with a blown-in system. But one way or the other, you can get them warmed up.
Gary, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Hey, home improvement lovers. Tom and I are now available on instant replay. All you have to do is visit MoneyPit.com right now and click on Listen to hear this show again. Or you can even search a year’s worth of past shows to find the exact topic that you are interested in learning about.
We’ll be right back. More Money Pit, after this.
ANNOUNCER: The Money Pit is brought to you by Therma-Tru, the nation’s leading manufacturer of fiberglass entry and patio door systems. Choose the brand more building professionals prefer. And add up to $24,000 to the perceived value of your home. For more information, visit ThermaTru.com.
TOM: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. I’m Tom Kraeutler.
LESLIE: And I’m Leslie Segrete.
TOM: If you’re a home improver but don’t always use a grounded outlet, you need this show. So call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. If you like to tackle home improvement projects and seldom have a fire extinguisher handy (Leslie chuckles), you need this show. Call us now at 888-MONEY-PIT. We’re here to help you get those jobs done once, done right and so that you don’t have to tackle them again anytime soon.
LESLIE: Yeah. And we also give you the kick-butt tools to get all those jobs done.
TOM: That’s right. That’s why we’ve got this Ryobi garden sprayer to give away this hour, worth 100 bucks.
Now, something else you should be doing right now is getting your air conditioning system ready. That’s right. It’s not too hot yet. That’s why it’s the perfect time to do that. And what you don’t know about your air conditioning system could hurt you.
First of all, do you have a split air conditioning system? You know, with an indoor coil and an outdoor condensing unit? They’re touted to be more energy efficient. But don’t be tempted to save money by replacing just one part of the system if it goes bad. We’re going to explain why in the next edition of the Money Pit e-newsletter. If you’re not a subscriber, you can sign up free right now at MoneyPit.com and while you’re there, why don’t you subscribe to our podcast and you’ll get this show for free every single week.
Leslie, who’s next?
LESLIE: Carol in Minnesota, what’s on your mind?
CAROL: Well, what’s firstly on my mind is that I want to tell you I thoroughly enjoy your program because I’ve been recently widowed and I’m raising a family by myself and there’s so many things I need to learn about home maintenance …
TOM: Well, thank you so much.
CAROL: … that I didn’t know before. However, what I’d like to do is to convert a tuck-under garage area into a room that can hold a swim spa without ruining the rest of my home.
CAROL: And right now the walls are mostly sheetrock. They haven’t been taped or mudded or painted. And then there’s some concrete areas also.
TOM: OK, let me ask you a question, Carol. When you say a swim spa, do you mean one of those big pools for exercising, where it has like sort of a tide?
LESLIE: Like a strong current?
TOM: OK. Whenever you put a spa or a pool in an enclosed area like a garage – or really any room – not only do you have to be concerned about the materials around it because of the corrosive effects of the chlorine; you also need to be mindful of the humidity issues. And so, probably what you’re going to need is some sort of humidity control in that area so that it doesn’t get so overwhelming that it grows into a mold problem.
The other thing is, Leslie, I think, starting with those walls, probably sheetrock is not the material to use here.
LESLIE: Yeah. I don’t know if you want to use the existing sheetrock only because you’re dealing with a paper product and you’re dealing with a huge source of moisture, which is your swim spa. And that’s going to love that drywall. It’s going to eat everything and you’re going to get mold growing in there before you even know it no matter what you do with the moisture situation. So you can either do two things: replace that with a different sort of sheetrock product called Dens Armor and it’s by Georgia Pacific and that’s made with a fiberglass face to be really moisture-resistant; or you could go with a product that’s called greenboard in the trade or it’s known as a – it’s a drywall product that has a green facing on it rather than the traditional gray-white. And it’s made to really withstand moisture. Great for basements. Great for bathrooms. Both good choices but definitely not your sheetrock that’s in there now.
TOM: I think you really need to look into Dens Armor by Georgia Pacific. Because the difference between that and either standard drywall or moisture-resistant drywall is that there’s no paper face. And paper is a mold food.
There’s a website that you should look at, Carol, and it’s called StopFeedingMold.com. And in there you will see information on Dens Armor and why that’s a perfect choice for a spa room where you’re going to have a lot of moisture and humidity problems.
You know, Leslie, I remember about a year ago – before my local health club underwent a major renovation to the swimming area, that – I went in there one day and spotted stachybotrys growing on the walls …
LESLIE: Ooh, that’s bad.
TOM: … in the pool area. And you know, you see the kids running all around it and stuff and it’s just a bad combination to have drywall next to a humidity condition like that.
CAROL: [So there is nothing} (ph) then I have to remove the old sheetrock and – or have the contractors do it?
TOM: Well, I would recommend that you remove it. If you want to avoid some of the expense, you could put a second layer on top of it and put the Dens Armor on top of it. But in the best case scenario, you’re going to want to remove it.
LESLIE: Jeff in Connecticut, how can we help you today at The Money Pit?
JEFF: Hi. I was listening to the show a little while back and you were talking about Aprilaire products and filters for the furnace; mentioning about how some people have the smaller one-inch filters. I have – my filter is five inches by 20 by 20 and it’s an accordion style. I was wondering if, with a filter like that, should I still look into the electronic air cleaner?
LESLIE: The benefit of what these electronic air cleaners – particularly the one from Aprilaire – does is that it gets mounted to your furnace and what it does is it sends a positive charge into the air. So any particle – even as tiny as a microscopic bacteria or a virus or an allergen or smoke or food odor or pet dander or something so tiny that you don’t even see – becomes positively charged and then their register – which is, I think six inches by 72 feet; this thing is enormous but it’s accordion-style – is negatively charged. So it sort of sucks in all those particles and then does not release it back into the air. So it’s constantly cleaning the air as the air goes through the duct work.
So it does make a lot of sense to add something like this; especially when you consider the addition of the product is anywhere between $700 to $1,000 installed and then you just change that filter out once a year. You’re going to get everything out of the air with something like that.
TOM: Jeff, I’ll tell you. I had the exact filter that you’re talking about. I had an accordion-style filter like that and then I switched it out to the Aprilaire Model 5000. Not only was the air cleaner to breathe; I noticed an immediate change in the amount of dust in the house. So I think the electronic technology does definitely contribute towards the efficiency of the filter system. And if you have any concerns about dust or the respiratory risks of, you know, living in a house with those sorts of allergens – some people have, you know, allergy symptoms and things of this nature – it’s definitely a good investment.
You know, Consumer Reports rated the Model 5000 by Aprilaire tops for the last three years. So it’s a good unit and definitely made a big difference in our family.
Jeff, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Talking plumbing with Tammy in Georgia. What can we do for you?
TAMMY: My question is I was running new PVC pipe into my house …
TAMMY: … and when I got to my hot water heater I realized that the hot water heater was copper. It had copper pipe coming out of it.
TAMMY: But it’s so rusty that I can’t undo it without breaking it, I believe. And I was just trying to figure out how I might change that out.
TOM: Well, you obviously have to cut out the copper pipe using a copper pipe cutter and then you have to attach the new water piping to it. Now you said PVC. Do you mean PEX?
TAMMY: PVC pipe.
TOM: Water line PVC pipe?
TAMMY: Yes. C-PVC. See, I’m sorry.
TOM: C-PVC. (chuckling) Yeah, OK. Yeah, there’s a connector for plumbing pipe that goes from the C-PVC to copper. You just have to make that connector.
TAMMY: Oh, OK.
TOM: Yeah, there’s a special connector for that that will work fine for it.
TAMMY: And where would I get something like that?
TOM: Oh, any home center has that.
LESLIE: In the home center. Just make sure that the diameter from the C-PVC and the copper – you know, you make sure you either get one that has the same on both sides; make sure whatever the pipe is that you’re working with that you’re matching both sides and get the right adapter for it.
TOM: Tammy, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LESLIE: Well, if you’re like most people, you have no idea when a leak is going to occur until it’s too late. Up next, we’re going to have some telltale signs that could mean a leak and how to make sure that those leaks get stopped before they cause major damage. So stick around.
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: Welcome back to The Money Pit Home Improvement Radio Show. A brand new Ryobi One+ tool awaits you if you call us right now at 1-888-MONEY-PIT. Because one caller to the program this hour is going to get a shot at winning this great garden sprayer. It will make applying pest control products, weed killers and even cleaning solutions very easy and it’s worth 100 bucks. Now, do the math. The phone call is free. (Leslie chuckles) The sprayer is worth 100 bucks. Why would you not want to call …
LESLIE: And the advice is valuable (INAUDIBLE).
TOM: Priceless, priceless! Call us now at 888-MONEY-PIT. Let’s talk about your home improvement question. Let’s talk about your home repair question. Let’s talk about the do-it-yourself dilemma; the project that you started and you just couldn’t get finished. And let’s see if we can get you to win that Ryobi One+ garden sprayer worth 100 bucks.
LESLIE: Alright. Well, right now let’s talk about that water that wants to find its way into your home. Because if you’re like most people, you probably have no idea if any waterproofing materials were used when your windows and your doors were installed. And worse yet, because you can’t see behind that window or door, you probably aren’t going to find out until it’s too late. But you can inspect the frames of the windows and the doors for any signs of leakage. If you see unusual stains that just suddenly appear around the frames of the windows or on the trims and the sills, if you notice any discolored plaster board or even peeling wallpaper, those are all major signs that you’ve got a leak going on somewhere.
TOM: Yeah, or even peeling paint. You know, peeling paint is a sure sign that there’s too much moisture in the wall or in the wood. Other signs include deterioration or separation of a deck from the main part of a house; chipped or cracked stucco finishes; if you see mold, you see mildew or you see rot in the walls, in the insulation or around the electrical system.
LESLIE: And most people never look in the electrical panel.
TOM: That’s right. These are all signs of leaks that can get into your house and missing, cracked or blistered paint inside your house as well as outside. You know, if you see any of these warning signs, you may have a leak and you need to get it fixed as soon as possible. Now if the repair includes replacing a door or a window frame, be sure to keep the leak from recurring by asking the contractor to use a premium self-adhered flashing. Forget the aluminum, forget the tar paper. You’ll want to use self …
LESLIE: Well, and especially with unusually-shaped windows that so many people are installing these days.
TOM: That’s right. This stuff can stretch around any different kind of shade.
Now, we like Grace Vycor Plus. This type of flashing adheres to the frame and it creates, basically, a watertight bond that will keep water from leaking in your home and causing future structural damage. If you need more information on how to properly flash these areas so leaks can be stopped in their tracks or they can be prevented from ever happening in the first place, you can visit GraceAtHome.com. That website again is GraceAtHome.com.
Let’s get back to the phones.