First, welcome to an exciting and rewarding career in plumbing. Plumbing is one of the oldest trades, its first origins dating back to the Roman times, from where the term plumber was derived from the term ‘Plumbum’ which is Latin for ‘worker of lead’. The industry has come a long way since then and whilst plumbers still need to be very skilful, there is an increasing requirement for in-depth technical knowledge as legislation and product technology becomes more complex.

This book is designed to support the knowledge and understanding required for the ‘technology’ content of the City and Guilds Level 2 Certificate in Basic Plumbing Studies. We will refer to this as the ‘Technical Certificate’ from now on to keep things simple. In addition to knowledge and understanding, the Technical Certificate has a practical element which you will cover at a City and Guilds accredited training center or college.

The Technical Certificate content also covers the job knowledge of the NVQ. To achieve an NVQ, you will need to have evidence of work experience and will be assessed on your competence to do plumbing work. Some of you will be doing a plumbing apprenticeship, in which case the Technical Certificate, NVQ and Key Skills (Application of Number and Communication) will all be relevant.

We will explain much more about the qualifications as well as the other progression routes in more detail in the Unit 1 ‘Welcome to Plumbing’. Research shows that one of the most powerful ways that people learn is ‘by doing’. We have made this the basis for this book by making it ‘interactive’, which means that in addition to providing the information about the various plumbing topics, we will expect you to get involved in the various activities.

In addition to the activities, we have included ‘test yourself’ questions at the end of a section and a selection of multi-choice questions at the end of a unit. These are designed to prepare you for the City and Guilds Technical Certificate assessments and are referred to as ‘checking your learning’. Just a bit of fun, but if you have internet access (if not try your library), try typing either ‘plumbing training material’ or ‘plumbing information’ into the search engine and see what comes out! Then try some of your own phrases or words for the search.

The internet is a rich source of plumbing information. Finally, to put some of the knowledge and understanding into the context of the industry, we have included a few case studies. Introduction You have made the decision to learn about plumbing and you are probably looking forward to working in the industry. In this section, we explore what a plumber actually does and give you an insight of what to expect on site.


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