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workin on water swivel
  • i pressured up on the water swivel im working on for the well drilling rig. i used a water hose, so what ever home pipes pressure up to. it had a couple small steady leaks. seemed like it would work fine though. i still need to test out how long the orings will hold up to the spinning pipe.
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  • How much tolerance is there between the PVC and the drill string? It looks like it is working pretty well.

    Also, one thing to consider then you do your durability testing is that it won't be pure water, but a water/sand/clay mixture so you may want to put some sand/gravel in the outer par of the coupling so that the o-rings have to face that as well. It may be a good idea to add one of those plastic o-rings on the inside to protect the other ones. I am trying to design the machine so the swivel is fairly easy to take apart so if we could only even get 1 or 2 wells out of a set of rings that might be an acceptable loss rate as o-rings are pretty easy to mass produce.

    The machine is also designed to allow for the swivel to leak and has no bearings or critical parts below that part of the drill string for exactly that reason. Knowing this we may also want to opt for a higher leak rate if it prolongs the life of the equipment due to the larger tolerance between the drill string and the end caps.
  • how do you mean tolerance, distance from the pvc to the pipe? its a little less that 1/16 between the pvc and the pipe i think.

    i think i should also check to see if after a while do the o-rings on the top fall down. would they require somethign to keep them in place or will the pressure hold them up?
  • i was thinking, do you think that there would be uneven wear on the pvc and orings because of the hose hooking into the T would pull it down, causing more pressure on the hose side at the bottom and the far side on the top? could the hose be strung up? or would it be able to handle it? do you think that the pvc should rest on the lower collar or should there be an extra piece of something to keep it away from the pipe threads?
  • I had actually planned on having some sort of attachment between the swivel and the back frame to prevent the swivel from trying to turn, but also to keep it centered on the drill string.  If there is only a 1/16th gap there now, it is likely that after a bit of running that the gap will expand from wear.  I would do a bit of testing like this and then take some sand paper or something and then just open it up so the gap is a bit larger and do the same set of tests for a range of gap sizes.  Ideally at each gap size you would want to test with 1) water only, 2) with water and coarse sand like for a sandbox, and 3) with a fairly thick mixture of water/clay.

    The third test is the one that interests me the most.  If we can use a very large gap between the swivel and the drill string but just restrict ourself to always using thick drilling fluid, that would be ok.  Many sites will hit a clay deposit at least some distance along the drilling anyway and since the amount of clay needed to make thick mud is relatively small it can be brought from a clay pit in the area.  You could reuse it as well, however this may be a bad idea due to the potential for well contamination.  Always using thick mud could also simplify the design of the mud pump as we can optimize it for that consistency.

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