What is the life expectancy of the Mud Motor and how to extend it?
If you operate and use within the operations manual specs, the mud motor must perform within the published parameters as much as 100 to 125 hours of drilling. At that time, it is suggested to be gone back to the provider for service and inspection. Generally, at that time, we see the bearings from tolerance and requiring replaced. Obviously, this is exactly what we prefer to see however in our industry we face scenarios daily that can impact operations on the job site. We see lots of motors returned with 150-plus hours on them and usually, these extra hours show on the repair expense. The internal operations of the transmission section are affected by the included hours, which will increase repair work cost.
The most costly replacement on the mud motor is the power section. This is comprised of the stator and rotor. The rotor is chrome-plated steel and has one less lobe than the stator, which its inner diameter is made from a highly crafted rubber substance. The drilling mud is pumped through the rotor-stator assembly, producing torque and rotation at the drill bit. This suggests the drilling mud needs to be clean of solids and sand. If it is not clean, it will too soon wear the stator and the rotor, increasing the fit between the two, which dramatically decreases the pressure and power this area is developed to produce.
We had a customer who bought a 6- 3/4-in. Mud motor and after a month, I contacted them to examine to see if it required service. I was informed it was doing excellent and was in the hole on its third bore. I reminded the consumer that service of the motor was vital to the general life of the machine, but apparently, it fell on deaf ears. Six months later, the client called and said he was sending it in for service. I asked if he understood the number of hours they had on it– I was told more than 750 hours! Unfortunately, the tool was retired, and the rotor was made into a front bumper for one of their work trucks.
How do you look after a mud motor to extend its life?
Service the motor every 100 to 125 hours of use and the overall life of the motor will be extended. Decrease the motor stalls– this is when the motor stops turning internally while the mud pump is still pumping mud through it. After a mud motor is utilized on a task and doesn’t need service, we recommend to clean it using fresh water. No chemicals or soap needed, as it is only for rinsing or flushing out the drilling mud which when not done, will dry out and can trigger damage when the motor is recycled.