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Thread: Insulation recommendation for outdoor head tank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Old Lyme, CT
    Posts
    268

    Default Insulation recommendation for outdoor head tank

    I have a 240 gallon stainless steel head tank on an elevated wooden platform outside my sugar shack:

    sap tank 6.jpg

    I have it plumbed to my 2X4 Mason evaporator with PVC piping:

    sap tank tee.jpg

    I had a problem last year with sap freezing in the pipes. I wrapped them in heat tape and wrapped the heat tape with pipe insulation. The insulation had adhesive on one side and stuck to the heat tape.

    This summer, I re-plumbed my head tank and installed a stainless steel ball valve at the bottom of the tank so I could close the valve and drain the sap from the plumbing to prevent freezing. Needless to say, removing the self adhering insulation from the heat tape and pipes was a bloody mess. I had to pull the insulation off piece by piece.

    I'm putting the pipes back together now and will re-wrap them them the heat tape.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for pipe insulation?

    I'm thinking of going with something like this (though it is a bit pricey): https://www.amazon.com/4-1-Elastomer...ipe+insulation

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Mark
    Mason 2x4 w/raised flue pan, 240 gal. sap tank, 80 Reds on 5/16 tubing and Lunchbox releaser/pump, 20 sugars on buckets

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin, CT
    Posts
    1

    Default

    I have a similar set up, I built a box out of foam board and created a tunnel for my feed pipe. I can reach in from the shack to turn on the valve. If it's crazy cold, I'll set my heat gun on low and hang it so it's blowing down the tunnel.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    8,714

    Default

    Just go to a plumbing supply store for 1/2" wall or even 3/4" wall pipe insulation. It comes in 6' lengths. Get it 2 or 3 sizes bigger to have room for the heat tape. Then put the insulation on, use high grade duct tape to join lengths. I have a heat tape on my feed lines from my sap tanks to feed my RO, the heat tape and insulation have been on for about 8 or 9 years and are still good. However I did not get big box store heat tape, mine cost about 3x as much and lasts far longer, the big box store heat tape is only good for a year, maybe 2 at best. I don't even leave mine plugged in all the time, if the line freezes, I plug it in, wait about 45 minutes and I have flow, mine is on a 1.5" milk hose.
    For your valve, if you close a ball valve with sap in it and it freezes, it will burst, either use 2 ball valves, close the one nearest the tank, drain the line, then close the other valve then open that first valve, or better use: https://www.brewershardware.com/1-Tr...fly-Valve.html They can freeze without damage. The link is for a 1", but they have sizes up to and maybe larger than 4".
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 1000 for 2019?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Old Lyme, CT
    Posts
    268

    Default

    Thanks Dave.

    Can you provide a link to the heat tape that you use?

    I use a generic heat tape that I got off the internet.

    Mark
    Mason 2x4 w/raised flue pan, 240 gal. sap tank, 80 Reds on 5/16 tubing and Lunchbox releaser/pump, 20 sugars on buckets

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland, Vermont
    Posts
    164

    Default

    We have a similar setup but on the cold days when we are done boiling we have a drain back into a storage tank so it doesn't freeze in the line.
    Leader 2x6 Raised flue with patriot pans.
    300ish taps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    8,714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mspina14 View Post
    Thanks Dave.

    Can you provide a link to the heat tape that you use?

    I use a generic heat tape that I got off the internet.

    Mark
    Sorry, I do not even have the manufacturer's name. I bought it at Seneca Plumbing and Heating Supply in Vernon, NY. Likely any plumbing supply (the places where full time plumbers buy) will have very similar ones. It was far more expensive and far heavier. It was 7 watts/foot instead of the 3 watt ones at the big box stores.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 1000 for 2019?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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