Course: Domestic Installation Workshop
Duration: 5 days
Qualification: Electrical Installations Work within a Domestic Dwelling
So recently I attended the first week of our Bronze Domestic Installer course (C&G 4141-01) which is a practical training week. If you want to know more about the course then read on. Be aware this post is coming from someone who has never worked on a site, picked up a tool or even tinkered with the electrics at home. You know this should be an interesting read.
This was certainly going to be a challenging week for me or the tutor who decided to take me on, thankfully Doug immediately put me at ease. Being a 28 year old female this made me the second youngest in the class, the rest were in their forties or above, some had years of experience in a trade perhaps not electrics, but they’ve used tools before, as a chippie, a mechanic, working as a handyman, kitchen fitter, plumber, or an electrical apprentice, and lastly a property developer who wanted to save money. Then there is little old me who has never used a screwdriver, snippers (I mean wire cutters) and wire strippers, this was a whole new world to me, I might have put up a picture up, with a hammer and nail at most but that is it!
Therefore if I can make it through this course and pass, then anyone can, on my first day I cut my hand on those nasty “snippers”, I was covered in bruises which I still can’t explain. It’s the classic phrase of pen pusher turned tradesman and I couldn’t be prouder to make it out alive, let alone with a qualification in domestic installation. I will be tinkering at home with my electrics before you know it! Watch this space Trade Skills 4U, coming soon: “Superb Sparky - The Current Specialist”, with a 10 rating on Checkatrade. Perhaps not, but we can all dream can’t we.
The classroom for the 4141-01 is designed with practical teaching in mind. It is a dual purpose classroom with seating in the middle for looking at teaching slides and bays around the outside with consumer units from which you can then build your installations.
Myself and my classmates couldn’t quite believe what was achievable during the course, we learnt how to wire up two plug sockets, a spur, two light switches, a fan assisted switch, and a cooker switch all within just a few hours of class time.
On day one we wired up two plugs, and two lights. These were all connected in the consumer unit either to the Neutral bar, the earth bar or the live bar. You’ll learn quickly the different ways to test your wiring. Would you believe it, if I said that you’d be given a test sheet at the beginning of the day, and by the end of the day you would have filled this in correctly? The class had managed to wire up all of that into a consumer unit and make it work. Well I couldn’t. It was testament to the tutor and the teaching of course.
After the initial build we had to check our connections using a KewTech KT35 testing meter, you can download the test sheet here, filling in the form correctly is hugely important because it’s a legal document. As Doug explained this shows that when you left the property the electrics were working correctly.
Day two we tested our connections. I had some high readings on my circuits. This could have been for a number of reasons either the insulation around the conductor was touching the metal plate in the socket or the sockets themselves were damaged in some way. Once we’d figured out if the wiring needed adjusting. We were swiftly asked to wire up an intermittent switch on to the lighting circuit, this meant you could operate the same lights from various switches. You might see this in your hallway or landing.
Day three early on in the morning we were asked to wire up a cooker switch. This involved using three coil wire, this wire is very thick and hard to strip especially for a novice like me! Once we’d completed this, we filled out our test sheets, including all the final stages of testing to ensure the consumer unit can be powered up safely.
Day four we wired up a fan and fan assisted switch, these were attached to the lights meaning you could turn the fan on without the lights. As Doug explained these are normally used in bathrooms without windows or sufficient ventilation. During the build Doug’s attitude is, it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes, because you learn from them, and he preferred that they happened in the classroom rather than anywhere else.
Here’s a diagram of everything wired up week one, once this was completed it was time to take it down in preparation for assessment day.
The final day of the domestic installer workshop, was assessment day, you have four hours to complete an installation, inspect and test your work. If you complete this correctly you’ll pass. The pressure was on. Upon entering the classroom on assessment day you can certainly feel the tension in the air. To be told you are not allowed to talk about your work (was like being back at school) I had to consciously think about this at regular intervals throughout the day. Four hours is plenty of time. I decided to take my time during the assessment, because throughout the week, I had a couple of occasions where my wiring was too short and had to make last minute adjustments. I took my time measuring everything correctly to ensure each wire wasn’t too short to make a good connection.
All in all, the course was thoroughly enjoyable, from getting to know my fellow students and their reasons for taking the course, many of the students had decided to have a change of career after working in a different trade.
One thing that stood out was just how knowledgeable our tutor was. He used real life examples during class and broke everything down into bite size chunks, making it fun whilst we learnt. It’s easy to fall behind when you’re not paying attention because it’s very fast paced. It’s an intensive course, similar to taking one years worth of driving lessons in just one week!
To find out course availability please visit the course page, many people book this course as part of the Bronze domestic installer package, where you’ll also gain the following qualifications in; 2393 Part P building regulations, 2392-10 Inspection & Testing Course, and the 17th Edition Wiring Regulations (including the latest amendments), this will enable you to become fully qualified domestic electrician in just 18days.