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Thread: CV's and Dropline changing

  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    We always replace tees when replacing drops. If you try to cut the tubing off the tee, a certain percentage of them will have microleaks no matter how careful you try to be. Under high vacuum you'll spend your time chasing these leaks and cutting them out anyway. Turns out to be faster and more economical to just replace them. For gravity or low vacuum it is probably less critical.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #32
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    Feb 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    We always replace tees when replacing drops. If you try to cut the tubing off the tee, a certain percentage of them will have microleaks no matter how careful you try to be. Under high vacuum you'll spend your time chasing these leaks and cutting them out anyway. Turns out to be faster and more economical to just replace them. For gravity or low vacuum it is probably less critical.
    100% agree. Just the time you spend messing around with a used tee makes it worth the $0.20 aside from the potential lost sap yield if you scar the tee. Once you have your woods on a rotation schedule, we've found it easier to go through the bush to make repairs on the 1st pass while lugging all the fittings and items needed then go through a 2nd time just to do the drops. We make our drops in the shack ahead of time where it's warm. May seem like it takes more time to go through the woods a 2nd time but we've found it actually saves time. Drops can be done very quickly, takes about the same time to replace a drop as it does to drill in a tap doing it this way.
    380 gravity taps
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  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    Bristol, VT
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    I used to agree 100% with the change the T philosophy when replacing drops. Now I'm not so sure...

    This winter a fellow producer turned me on to using a tool made by Pruno, that when properly used, enables one to cut the drop off without scarring the barbs on the T. It takes practice to get the technique right but it can be very quick to change drops when you get good at it. I don't have a picture of the tool handy but you can see it here in their catalogue. https://www.atelierpruno.com/documen...GUE2020_EN.pdf They call it a "stripping plier" but I have heard it referred to as a "splice tool".

    It's on pg. 10 of the catalogue (pg. 6 of the PDF) and the code # is 71200 or 71210. It's hard to see in their photo but the blade of the tool has a profile cut into it that is nearly identical to the barb profile on a tubing fitting. When you close the tool on the T (Drop) it cuts the tubing parallel to it so you can then get the drop off. Because of the profile on the blade, the barbs are not contacted with the blade unless you really over do it.

    I did an experiment this season and replaced about 100 drops using the method described with the Pruno tool, and another 200 with the conventional two handed tool cutting out the T method. I didn't find any issues with micro leaks when leaving the T intact. Once again, it does take practice to get it right but it does seem to be a viable option for drop replacement without removing the T. I did find it faster once I got the hang of the tool. I would remove a bunch of drops and then go around and replace them. Two people could really cruise with one removing the drop and the other putting on the new one.

    While I do replace drops on rotation, I often have to also replace them due to animal damage. In this case I always replace the T and damaged tubing as I'm cutting out tubing anyway. I do now plan to continue leaving the T intact though for annual replacement after my experience this season. I haven't found any studies that suggest leaving the T will reduce the benefit of drop replacement as far as taphole sanitation goes with 5/16 tubing. But, I'm not sure that anyone has closely studied it.
    Last edited by GeneralStark; 05-09-2020 at 01:03 PM.
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