Cliff’s Diary of his Train4TradeSkills Practical Training – Part 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


About Train4tradeSkills

Train4TradeSkills offer the only trade training skills courses that combine three great ways to learn, through a unique blend of book based theory, practical workshops and virtual reality PC based training, to help you qualify you as a plumber, electrician or gas engineer. No other learning provider offers our unique way to study, with full tutor support, easy to follow, step by step modules. Once you complete one part of the course and return your work for marking, the next stage of the course automatically follows. It’s as easy as that. It’s fun, it’s easy to follow... and it can be fitted around your existing work and family commitments!

Posted on July 4, 2011, in plumbing, plumbing courses, plumbing jobs, Plumbing News, t4ts, train4tradeskills, Train4TradeSkills Bright Sparks and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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