The Diary of a SNIPEF Apprentice Day 1

March 1, 2021

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2021 begins today, and SNIPEF recognises that it has never been more important to show our support for our apprenticeships than it has been this last year.

To celebrate our apprentices and what they bring to the industry, every day this week SNIPEF will be featuring an extract on our website on a day in the life of Iain Winnard, a SNIPEF apprentice; giving an insight into what it is like to be a SNIPEF apprentice and also highlight what apprentices bring to the plumbing and heating industry.

Meet the Apprentice

Iain is a fourth year apprentice, who started his apprenticeship in July 2017 and works for Blair Plumbing & Heating Solutions Ltd in Crinan, Argyll & Bute.

When asked why he chose an apprenticeship in plumbing and heating, Iain says “I am a hands-on worker, so an apprenticeship always appealed to me through school. As people say, "You’re always going to need a Plumber" it seemed to be a good career choice, which it was!


My day starts at 8am, at either the office/yard or on a job allocated from the previous week. At the moment with this winter being particularly cold, there has been a large number of call outs to burst pipes and frozen pipework. I arrive at work and automatically check the works computer for emergency incidents which may need attending to right away. Should there be any issues over the weekend, I will be informed by my boss.

Monday consisted of:

  1. A boiler changeover;
  2. Removing an open vented hot water system;
  3. Decommissioning a sealed system boiler and replacing it with a high efficiency combination boiler.
Iain Diary Monday

My task included:

  • Flushing existing pipework and draining the systems;
  • Decommissioning the existing installation and removing the cold-water storage cistern/hot water cylinder, external system boiler and no longer required pipework;
  • Positioning the new external combination oil boiler;
  • Drilling/coring new pipe access to premises for the boiler;
  • Installing boiler pipework: Central heating flow and return pipework, plus the cold mains supply to boiler and hot distribution pipe;
  • Installing a new oil line, with fire valve and wall mounted oil filter;
  • Boiler discharge pipe/blowoff is to be taken outside boiler through a suitable location;
  • Installing condensate pipework internally 21.5mm plastic pipe, externally 1inch ¼ plastic pipe all plastic pipework solvent welded, and condensate water taken to a suitable drain or soakaway;
  • Connecting new pipework to existing pipework in a suitable location, main connections were done underfloor;
  • Filling central heating from boiler filling loop and bleed radiators then test hot and cold outlets all have a supply of water;
  • Commissioning a boiler;
  • Showing a customer how to work the new system and answer questions;
  • Receiving a signature on the commissioning sheets.
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