Prior to the use of centrifugal pumps on drilling rigs, the standby reciprocating mud pumps were customarily used to operate the mud hopper. As with high pressure mud guns, this required high-pressure pipe and connections. This was costly because the pump required enormous power and expensive piping. A small orifice in the hopper delivered a low flow at a high velocity. The jet velocity was suitable for adequate mixing, but the volume was usually less than 500 gpm. This, of course, would limit the speed of material addition.

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