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Thread: Shurflo setups - mainline or manifold?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Southern NH


    I have roughly the same number of taps with similar mix of 3/16 and 5/16 as you.

    All my laterals run downhill (about 12 of them) into a 3/4” mainline that takes a more gentle slope to the collection spot. I actually have 2 mainlines that join just before the pump.

    Manifold or mainline? Mainline is just a super-long manifold. If it is much cheaper to run thicker tube than multiple smaller tubes, then that is one factor and depends on your terrain. You already have money in your black 1”, right? You may gain vacuum with longer 3/16 runs, so that would be the counter-push towards a manifold solution. I run 2 of my 3/16 laterals parallel with the mainline for a good stretch to maximize vac on those.

    I use the blue barbed Y-connectors (6 inlets) instead of saddles. They are great for never leaking but ice collects and packs at these junctures and adds to the thaw-out time.

    If you go mainline, you want 3/4 or 1”, I think. You want air over sap the whole length, right into the pump. You want your pump chugging through air and sap simultaneously. This technique allows evacuation of air and prevents the pump from stalling on air pockets (a wet diaphragm will pull 28” and only 12” when dry).

    I have not used a manifold, so I cannot directly compare differences in operation. I do know that I keep high vacuum the whole season and last year I bottled 77 gallons of syrup from 115 taps (a very high ratio). Those numbers even make me worry if I am pulling too much sugars out of the forest, but the trees seem healthy and I’ve been running like this for 6 years.

    I wonder with those using a manifold solution, if there are issues with the manifold cracking (plastic pvc or metal) when sap freezes in them. I know my mainline backs-up frozen about 30 feet into the freeze but the tube can expand and not crack.
    Jamie Jones
    2017 - 120 taps, 68G syrup - automated pumping from collection to head tank
    2016 - 118 taps (about half on 3/16"), 60G syrup
    2015 - 115 taps, 58G syrup - new wireless blower switch and remote pump switch from tank to shack
    2014 - 120 taps, 53G syrup - hobby vac
    2013 - 120 taps, 40G syrup - Sunrise Metal 2x6, 12x14 sugarhouse
    2012 - 44 taps, 6G syrup -gravity tube, 4 steam pans on block arch, plastic greenhouse shack - (I'm hooked!)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Princeton, MA


    I would put the inline fuse close to the battery positive terminal. That way you are protected if anything accidently shorts.


    Quote Originally Posted by steve J View Post
    Thanks Dave one more question I saw where it was suggested a 10 amp in line fuse be installed. should that go on line between temp gauge and pump? or on line from battery to temp gauge?
    Mountain Maple farm
    2019: 180 taps, 60 on gravity, 100+ on vacuum using my programmable S3 controllers
    New website:

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Middlesex Vermont


    Harbor freight sells fairly small battery maintainers. Does anyone know rather they would work with a shuffling set up? I was going to use small charger that had a maintain mode but it seems a bit large for my tote.
    110 taps W.F Mason 2x3 and two turkey friers for finishing

    2011 expanding to a Mason 2x4 with a blower increasing taps to about 200
    2011 Hurricane Irene rips thru my small sugar bush cost me to lose 20% of taps
    2014 I have reworked my lines for 2014
    32 taps on 5/16 line with check valves
    57 taps on 3/16 line with check valves
    55 buckets with total tapped trees of 144

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