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Can You Mix Drilling Equipment? What You Need to Know

posted by the Epiroc Exploration & OreBody Solutions team

February 12, 2022

It sometimes happens at a drill site, that you need to finish drilling but don’t have the exact equipment you need to finish. Maybe you only have a few hundred feet to drill, and you realize that you are missing the same brand of drill rod. So, to finish the job, you reach for whatever you have available. This can be very risky because not all types of drilling equipment work together safely.


If we look at drill rods, the threads are very specific and mixing brands is forbidden by the manufacturers.  To do so will void the warranty. So, if you have relatively new rods that are galling or have snapped off box ends, the manufacturer will visit to investigate what might be happening to cause the problem. If more than one manufacturer’s rods are at the drill site, you will have a problem justifying your claim.   You will have to demonstrate that you are storing the rods properly, using proper thread compound and not mixing your rods.


To avoid mixing rods, you should always make sure they are properly labeled, including all pertinent information such as size and manufacturer. Avoid the temptation to finish a job using a rod from a different manufacturer or even from a different drill rig. Make sure you have enough drill rods and add a few extra for good measure. It’s important to keep in mind that old and used drill rods should never be mixed with new ones because the older, worn or damaged threads will damage new threads.

The different components of a coring system are often mixed as well. As an example, you may be on a drilling project with three drill rigs on site. Two are drilling with NQ diameters and the third rig is facing different ground conditions and drilling with an NQ3 system. The diameter of the core is almost the same size and you might not be able to tell them apart. You would need to be very careful not to mix up the core lifter systems for each of these sizes.


The answer to avoiding this kind of mix-up is the same. Always clearly label your core lifting systems and store them separately. If you end up using the wrong size of core lifter, you will get no core recovery.


It’s important to note that casing is different. The Diamond Core Drillers Manufacturers Association, better known as the DCDMA, governs the standard specifications for casing. This means that the thread profiles for casing will be the same regardless of manufacturer, so you can mix and match these without any worries.


As you can see, the best way to prevent mix-ups is to take precautions. Our goal is to improve drilling performance and make drillers’ lives easier. Our technical support team can help with any questions you may have regarding drilling equipment so don’t hesitate to reach out to them.

Diamond Tools Fordia 2022 Additives & Lubricants Rods Casing Adaptors Coring System