The Diary of a SNIPEF Apprentice Day 3

March 3, 2021

This week we have been featuring the diary of Iain Winnard, a SNIPEF apprentice based in Scotland to celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021.

The diary highlights his workday, however his experience at Glasgow Clyde College has also been key, as Iain explains “Over the three years you meet some exceptional people…the lecturers, who really are exceptional. I learnt so much over the years from them and continue to do so every day. They always go that extra mile to help, should you ask for it


Today I was working on an estate with a mixture of projects ongoing. My task was to take a new water main into a coat room and first fix the pipework for a WC, a wash hand basin, with an above basin, instantaneous hot water heater and run a pipe for an outside tap located at the front of the building.

With social distancing in place, my goal of the day was to get all the first fix pipework done so the joiners can get in the next day to put up their dry walls and respatex sheets.

The most time-consuming part of this job was coring the hole for a protective sleeve to bring the new 25mm water main pipe through. “Diamond coring is very satisfying but requires patience”.

With the new water main supply installed, my next steps were to:

  1. Branch off from mains supply into the loft space;
  2. Branch down supplies for the three appliances (first fix) through the empty partition walls;
  3. Tee’d the pipe in the loft to run to the other side of the building for the outside tap;
  4. Clip and insolate pipework;
  5. Add an isolating valve and check valve to outside tap pipework so in the event of freezing weather the supply can be shut off and tap drained. Check valve is in place to stop back flow and contamination of the water supply.

My next challenge at this point of the job was the four inch waste which I will need to break up and renew, the existing waste pipe is cast iron and has been sealed via rope and molten lead. At this point, I am still awaiting materials for this side of the job so I dug around the pipework to get it ready and upon my return, I will have to remove one of the old cast iron branches, carefully and wearing the appropriate PPE as the old rope lead seal will have to be broken away and removed/disposed of carefully.

My second job on the estate was to install a Small circular stainless-steel sink for a workshop and have a multipoint unvented water heater installed underneath the sink. There is still some work required at this point to bring a cold supply to the appliances in the workshop.

The estate staff are brilliant and help in any way they can with other companies and workforces dotted around the estate, everyone helps where they can.

At the end of the day, I discussed with my boss over the phone the remaining works required and to get the brief on my jobs for the next day.

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