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Thread: 5/16 to Mainline Questions (Newbie)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018

    Default 5/16 to Mainline Questions (Newbie)

    Hello all,

    I am currently in the process of planning for my first upcoming year of collecting sap. I am fresh out of Highschool, and my Agriculture teacher got me hooked on producing maple syrup ( had a maple syrup operation at the school). My first question would be how many trees would I be able to put on one 5/16 line with all natural vacuum. I have an average of 8% slope leading down the woods. My second question would be what is the best way to combine 5/16 to a 3/4 inch main line and still maintain enough natural vacuum to pull more sap from the trees. My final question is how many taps can 3/4 inch main line support with no vacuum pump. I plan on expanding every year in the future, starting with 100 taps and working my way up.

    Thank you, Rob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Western NY


    Rob, with 5/16 you will not get natural vacuum. You will need to use 3/16 for that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Peoria, IL


    3/16 is the tubing you will be looking for on natural gravity vacuum. On 3/16 most run 15-30 taps depending on tree concentration per area of woods and possibility of squirrel damage (less taps per 3/16 run = less taps lost if squirrels are damaging lines). For the second question that will depend on how your woods is set up in regards distance from sugar shack to maple bush. 3/16 works great going from tree to tank as long as there isn't too much flat ground covered. And it is more forgiving than mainline if it is not pitched perfectly. Describe your sugar bush to use a bit more and we can help you work out the details.
    2019 - 150 taps 3/16 shurflo, Deer Run 125 hobby RO
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Oneida NY


    In either event, use what is called a saddle to attach a lateral (the 3/16 or 5/16 from tree to tree and then to the main) to a lateral. Over the years I've used many different saddles, but after I first tried the DSD saddles I never bought any other brand. They cost less and are less prone to leaking. That being said, sometimes with good slope (8% is good) and the right layout, you do better just running the lateral to the collection point and use no mainline.
    To help you know if that is an option, we need to know more about the woods lay of the land where you will be tapping and where you can collect the sap.
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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