Tag Archives: plumbing training

T4TS How to Guides: Chris talks about his plumbing job

Chris Summerfield is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Chris to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Chris’ interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at www.train4tradeskills.blogspot.com or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills


Train4TradeSkills Student Grant talks about plumbing training and his new job as a plumber

Grant Van Djk is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Grant to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Grant’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at www.train4tradeskills.blogspot.com or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

Megan tells Train4TradeSkills Radio about her plumbing course and work experience

Megan Morphew is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Megan to find out how she was getting on with her training:

You can listen to Megan’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at www.train4tradeskills.blogspot.com or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

Steve talks plumbing training and tells us about his plumbing business

Steve Hills is training to become a plumber with Train4TradeSkills. Tom Jinks from T4TS Radio spoke to Steve to find out how he was getting on with his training:

You can listen to Steve’s interview on the Train4TradeSkills Radio Blog at www.train4tradeskills.blogspot.com or download to iTunes from the AudioBoo app at www.audioboo.fm/train4tradeskills

Make sure you visit Steve’s plumbing website at www.stevesplumbingsolutions.co.uk

Cliff’s Diary of his Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 4


I am back in Featherstone for week 4 of my practical training there are not so many students this week and I am in a group of three. Our main task for the week is an airing cupboard fitting a hot water storage cylinder, feed and expansion tank also running a single hot feed to a hand basin.

This is part of the requirement for city & guilds 6129 course and is assessed but there is no photo and summary required. You can have two attempts to complete this task but if you are happy with your first install it is not necessary and you can move on to other things.

We don’t need a materials list for this task so it’s straight to work on the install. We can install this system any way we see fit and the only information given is that we must use as many machine bends as possible so as not to slow the flow of water.

This is quite a task as a great deal of the pipe work is in 22mm which is difficult to bend by hand, but after last week’s LCS I am feeling pretty pumped up and find it less difficult than my first attempts with 22mm pipe.

By lunchtime I am well into the install and have the feed and expansion tank completed and the feed to the cylinder also. After a catch up with the other students over lunch were back to work fitting the primary vent pipe which is the most complex of all the bends as it has a bridge, offset and two 90 ̊ bends all in one piece of 22mm tube. This takes the best part of an hour to work out and pull accurately but once complete the rest is plain sailing and by the end of the afternoon I have the system filled with water and soundness tested


Having soundness tested the install the previous day and left the system filled overnight, Robert our tutor assessed the install and passed it with some nice comments on neatness and the quality of the bends and said that it was not necessary for me to do a second install and that I could decommission and move on.

The decommission takes a long time as there is a large quantity of water in the system so the morning soon passes. During lunch I spent some time with a group of students on their first week of training and am able to give some advice on what to expect during the week and hopefully helped them to avoid some of the mistakes people were making when I was there for week 1.

This was good because it allowed me to realise just how beneficial the first weeks were to me and how much I had retained to memory. In the afternoon Robert did air testing drainage systems with me and I got acquainted with a manometer, I also did two test papers ready for the exams the following day which I failed miserably much to my disgust, so out came the books and I spend the rest of the day doing some serious revision in the canteen.


Feeling pretty tired today. I did another 2 hours revision when I got home last night and am just hoping I haven’t done too much and bamboozled myself with facts and figures.

I am given another task by Robert a Soil and Waste fit in one of the bays. It’s not a long task but there are two photo’s, a written summary and a materials list needed for this task. It really helps me clear my head and distracts me from worrying about the exams as I excel in the practical parts of the course.

And I am feeling much more relaxed by lunch. During lunch talking with fellow students I realise it’s not only me who has been dreading exam everyone failed the mocks and spent a long night of revision but are now all feeling pragmatic about them pass or fail, my own attitude is failure is NOT an option.

1pm: Exam time today we have Sanitation systems and Central Heating Systems both are about 30 questions multiple choice and computer based with about 60mins allocated for each which again is more time than is necessary and even spending lots of time over the papers I’m out within the hour relieved that there over with.

The rest of the day is to be a Rain Water System install again not a very long task but photo’s, materials list and a written summary is required for my portfolio, the install only take 30mins and the remainder of the day is spent doing materials lists and summaries for the last two tasks. We get our results from our exams quite late in the afternoon and I’m very pleased to say I passed both – CHUFFED!!!


Today is about getting my portfolio up to date and making sure everything is signed and dated correctly. Absolutely everything has to be signed and counter signed by the tutors, so Robert spends a whole morning going through our files with us, he also dose some talks on Solvents, Scaffolding Erection and The Safe Use Of Power Tools so that they can also be signed as completed.

He has also given us a talk on what to expect on our final two weeks and it sound like it’s going to be very intense with lots of summaries to do. I am all up to date with everything completed so there is no need for me to attend for the Friday. Friday’s seem to be for resit’s of exams and also any work that needs to be completed, so far I haven’t needed to attend on Fridays hope I can continue in that manner.

Hope you have enjoyed the read I have 4 more TMA’s to complete the level 2 then 2 more weeks practical so am hoping to be back with parts 5 & 6 of the diary soon.

To see photos from Week 4 of his practical training and read his other diaries, visit Cliff’s blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

Cliff’s Diary of his Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Week 3

Well here it is again I am in Featherstone for week 3 practical training. I am not at all nervous this time and have had a week of revision on hot and cold water systems and environmental awareness, as these are the exams I will be having during the week.

I was thinking it was going to be a completely different group of people this week so i was pleasantly surprised to see one person from my group from weeks 1 & 2, Hi Jermaine hope you enjoyed your week as much as me, anyway I won’t get distracted with name dropping.


Its Monday morning and I have been on the go since 5.15am, as we start at 8.30 but everyone there at 8 chatting and introducing themselves, It’s a nice mix of ages and there are also two women in the group this week and 12 people in all.

Straight away the group is split into two for the week one group to do Low carbon steel the other doing airing cupboard we will swap over next week, so this week is LCS for me. I know it is going to be hard going as it the warmest day of the year so far and the humidity is really high. We start our day with an introduction to LCS cutting, threading and bending equipment and a bit of relevant health and safety as its dirty and lots of very sharp steel fragments around so gloves are well recommended to save on cuts and abrasions.

I don’t think anyone was quite prepared for how physically demanding LCS threading with stocks and dies actually is especially on such a hot day and by lunch time everyone is soaking with sweat and in dire need of a break. In the afternoon we are given our first assessment for the week which is a small jig similar to the one done in week 1 except in LCS.

This has to be accurate to within 2mm which is very difficult because of the nature of the material and the way in which it is jointed. I had this finished well within the allocated time and was able to spend some extra time doing some more complicated bends on the hydraulic machine bender to fill in the rest of my day, but believe me when I say I really needed a cold shower when I got home and my shoulders were aching badly.


Awoke very stiff in the shoulders this morning to another hot day even though the weatherman had promised rain overnight there is no evidence of it. I arrived for 8am and everyone in my group is feeling pretty sore today and wondering if it’s going to be like this all week and generally having a gripe about the fact that they never want to be involved in any LCS installations. This is a bit of a knee jerk reaction but I can understand where everyone coming from.

We have a different tutor today as the staff are a bit short handed this week and Neil who has been my tutor since week 1 has to take a different group. But Robert is also very good and easy to understand he gives us our other assignment for the week which is again in LCS with two radiators to fit into a bay with all the pipe work to be pressure tested. We also have to do our own materials list.

I get straight to work compiling a list of pipe, fittings and fixings, this has to be done straight out of a supplier catalogue complete with part numbers, description and quantities, as it is a requirement of the assignment along with a written summary description – more about that later. I just have time before lunch to mark out from the drawing into the bay where the installation is going.

In the afternoon I got all my fixings installed and cut all my tubing cut to length and the majority of the threading complete which is no mean feat when you consider how many threads are required, take another look at the drawing there are lots of threads necessary, so all together an exhausting day.


I arrive today knowing I have got most of the really physical work done and get on with the two offset Passover bends required for the installation. This doesn’t take long the hydraulic bender is easy to use and you don’t have to calculate for stretch with LCS when doing this sort of bend.

I know I have two exams later today so I want to get as much done as possible before hand and really get my head down to the task in hand, and by lunch time I have surprised even myself and am ready to cap off and pressure test the installation.

1pm: I have two exams now HOT WATER SYSTEMS & COLD WATER SYSTEMS Both are online multiple choice exam with about 90mins given for each. You’ll forgive me for not giving too much information here, but I will say if you have revised these subjects there reasonably easy 35 questions for cold 40 for the hot and a 70% correct answers on each to pass. The time given was far more than required to complete and I had done both in little over an hour so after a short break I got back to pressure testing my rig.

Having got it up to 5 bar and with a few tweaks here and there Robert the tutor passed it off with some nice comments as to the neatness. As he is walking around all the time watching and helping as necessary the fact that he had not had to assist me and also that I had finished long before the others, he was very impressed which gave me a real confidence boost.

The remainder of the day was spent decommissioning the rig, also about an hour after the exam we had our results 95% on both so I went home feeling great.


Big day today as we have a BPEC Energy Efficiency Exam in the afternoon so the morning is classroom based with a PowerPoint Presentation given by Robert. We were given the revision material yesterday but U had fallen asleep with it in my lap having not made it passed the first page. Never the less it is my pet subject as I want to get into the renewable part of the industry.

I was able to get fully involved in the presentation and again surprised myself with the amount of information that I had accumulated and absorbed during my studies and research.

We have an extra long lunch just resting in the sunshine and chatting. The exam is a paper multiple choice, open book exam with 30 questions with an 90% pass requirement with one re-sit available if required.

Again I am going to say if you have paid attention during the morning you have all the answers in your head, so it’s relatively easy and there is no reason why you shouldn’t get 100% on this exam.

So I am out in 20mins a happy bunny. Back to decommissioning or rather decorating as that’s all I have left to do, apart from my summary description, so i do notes for that and having talked to Robert he says that it is not necessary for me to come to the centre Friday and can write up my summary at home.

I am including a copy of my summary description for anyone who has not had to do these before it might be worth a read but please no copying you’ll only be cheating yourself.

Well that’s week 3 complete I hope you have enjoyed the read and find this useful please let me know what you think and watch out for next week’s diary of week 4.

To see photos, diagrams and Cliff’s summary description from Week 3 of his practical training, visit his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com

Cliff’s Practical Training Diary

Are you training with Train4TradeSkills and want to know what the practical training is like? Cliff Raw is one of the Train4TradeSkills Student Bloggers and is training to become a plumber.

Cliff wrote a diary about his practical training and exactly how he found it. Here’s a snippet from his diary, which you can read on Train4TradeSkills News:

Day 1

5am Tuesday 3rd May. The alarm screams and it is time to be up and about today, as it’s day 1 of a 4 day training week I’m due to be at ATL training centre Featherstone by 8am and I have to get there by public transport which means a 5.45am bus into Bradford and then another bus to Wakefield that takes 1hour 15mins then yet another bus to Featherstone and 10mins walk to Green Lane, industrial park were the centre is situated.

The training centre is a smart new industrial unit and already a hive of activity. The canteen is full of students, some like myself for the first time, others are there for later training weeks also there is a mix of plumbing and electrical students. It soon becomes apparent who is in my group and after introductions we are approached by our tutor for the week – Neil Linely.

Neil takes us to one of the centre classrooms to give us the induction and explain how the week will pan out as we only have 4 days to do 5 days work because of the May day bank holiday. There is also paperwork to be done before we can get started. With that completed we were out to the practical training area where we are issued with our tool kit and asked to list the contents and check the condition of each item before signing for them.

In the afternoon we were give the task of soldering and fittings practice, much more enjoyable not making anything in particular just getting used to soldering and using fittings, with Neil taking 3 students at a time to go and do safe ladder techniques for this we also need to take photos for our portfolio’s, again the afternoon is gone in a flash.

That’s Day 1 of Cliff’s Practical training diary. Read the other 4 days from Cliff’s blog on Train4TradeSkills News.

You can also see photos from Cliff’s practical training and speak to Cliff about his T4TS course on his blog at www.plumbing-student.blogspot.com