Assembly Procedure Surface Check Prior to Running in Hole

Most motors are shipped from the shop thoroughly inspected and tested, but some initial checks should be completed prior to running in hole. These surface check procedures should only be used with mud drilling systems. To avoid potential bit, motor, and BOP damage, these preliminary checks should be completed without a bit attached. A thread protector should be installed in the bit box whenever moving the motor, but must be removed before flow testing.

  • Only apply rig tongs on the identified areas of the drilling motor. All connections marked "NO TONGS" of the drilling motor are torqued in the service shop. Further make-up on the rig floor is not necessary, and if attempted may cause damage.
  • Remove the thread protector from the bit box and inspect the threads for damage.
  • Lower the drilling motor until the dump sub ports are below the rotary table, yet still visible. CAUTION: The dump sub valve will remain open until there is enough fluid pressure to close it. Therefore, the drilling motor should be lowered until the ports are below the rotary table. This will prevent the initial flow of drilling fluid from spraying on the rig floor.
  • Slowly start the pumps and ensure drilling fluid is flowing out of the dump sub ports. Increase the flow rate until the dump sub ports close, and drilling fluid stops flowing out. Make note of the circulation rate and standpipe pressure. CAUTION: Do not exceed the maximum recommended flow rate for this test.
  • Lift the drilling motor until the bit box becomes visible. It should be rotating at a slow, constant speed. Listen to the bearing section of the drilling motor for excessive bearing noise, especially if the tool has been used previously without being serviced.
  • Before stopping the pumps, the drilling motor should be lowered below the rotary table. Ensure that drilling fluid flows out of the dump sub ports after shutting down the pumps. It is possible that the dump sub valve remains closed after this test due to a pressure lock. If this occurs, no drilling fluid will flow out of the ports. To remove the pressure lock, bleed off some stand pipe pressure and the valve will open. The surface check should be as short as possible; since it is merely to ensure that the drilling motor is rotating.
  • After this surface check, the bit should be attached to the motor using a bit-breaker, while holding the bit box stationary with a rotary tong. Be sure to avoid contacting the end cap directly above the bit box with the tong dies. It is recommended that you never hold the bit box stationary and rotate the drilling motor counter-clockwise, or hold the drilling motor stationary and rotate the bit box clockwise. This could possibly cause the internal drilling motor connections to back off and damage it. Although rotating in the opposite direction will result in drilling fluid to be pushed out the top end, the internal connections will not be at risk of disconnecting.
  • If the drilling motor has been used previously, an overall inspection should be completed. Inspect for seal integrity by cleaning the area above the bit box and visually checking for lubricating oil leakage or seal extrusion. General visual inspection of the entire drilling motor should be carried out to check for missing oil plugs, housing damage, or loose connections.
  • Set the adjustable assembly to the desired bend. The instructions for this procedure depend upon the motor manufacturer and should be adhered to. Ensure the rig tongs can generate the required make-up torque the motor.
  • If a float sub is used, it should be placed immediately above the drilling motor.
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