Jason Mueller is a drill operator at Geothermal Services Corp., located in West Harrison, Ind. The company serves Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio, specializing in all aspects of geothermal heating and cooling. Mueller, who’s been with the company for 10 years, is involved with designing loops, installing them and servicing them. Geothermal Services Corp. uses a residential-sized drilling rig to get into tight areas without damaging landscaping or driveways. The company uses “wet drilling” as its standard because it reduces dust. Grouting the entire borehole is also something the business takes seriously, first because it is code, but also because it increases efficiency and helps prevent groundwater contamination.
Mueller didn’t always want to be a geothermal driller. He says before he got started as one, geothermal wasn’t popular in the area and there wasn’t much literature on it. He started as a sheet metal apprentice and ended up in HVAC. When his company purchased a drilling rig, they asked him to run it and that’s when his drilling career began. Two of the biggest challenges Mueller says he faces are keeping the mess that drilling causes to a minimum and not knowing what is underground before drilling begins. His advice for those thinking about joining the drilling industry is, “Don’t be afraid to work hard and remember, a little mud won’t hurt you.”