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Thread: Cleaning 3/16ths lines after the season

  1. #41
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    North Abington, PA

    Default I wonder if this would work

    I just put up about 35,000 feet of 3/16 tubing. In he past, we always cleaned 5/16 with just water, but after doing some research, I want to try using calcium hypochlorite. I've got an idea about how to do it, and I'm curious if anybody thinks it will or won't work, or whether it'll be a total pain. Most of the lines are long with a substantial drop and 20-30 taps. My plan is to have someone walk across the tops of the lines with buckets of solution. They pull the last spout, put it in the bucket, and let gravity suck it down until the line is full of solution. A person at the bottom then caps it off. With the last tap still siphoning from the bucket at the top, each tap is pulled, allowed to fill, then plugged. Then the top spout is plugged and we move on. Solution will sit in lines and drops overnight and be drained the next day. Comments? Thanks
    Last edited by springhillsmaple; 02-12-2019 at 08:55 AM.

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Hopkinton, MA


    I did that with mechanical vacuum last year. Not sure I'm going to do it again. At places the line is overhead and it was a pain getting a bucket up to some taps. In your case, I'm not sure you would be able to maintain a natural vacuum as you go down the line. I think maybe each time a little air is introduced you would eventually lose your siphon.

    I like the squirt bottle idea from the video in terms of ease of use, but I'm not sure how to keep the drop filled with solution for 30+ minutes.

    I have one area with 100 taps with brand new drops that I think I'm going to experiment on. I think I'll use your bucket method or the squirt bottle to fill the lateral with one of the bleach solutions for 30 min then cut out the drops and soak them (spouts and all) in a big PVC tube in the same solution. Next year, they'll go out with new tees.

    As I was cutting in the new tees this year, I was thinking this would kinda suck to do every year. 3/16" tees take a little more finesse than the 5/16", but if the results are as good as mentioned in the video, it might be worth it. I'd like to see a follow-up to this article to see what Art noticed after doing this cleaning.
    Woodville Maples
    Something north of 250 taps
    Mix of natural and mechanical vac, S3 Controller from Mountain Maple
    2x6 W.F. Mason with Phaneuf pans
    Deer Run 125 RO
    6 hives of bees
    Keeping the day job until I can start living the dream.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2018


    Here is my plan for backflushing/cleaning my system: We have a brand new tubing system this year. 150 taps. 1000 foot long, 3/4" mainline, 3/16" laterals. 100 feet vertical from the sugar shack to the top of the mainline. In order to backflush and clean the system, I plan on buying a positive displacement pump that can pump water at least 150 feet high, and connect that to the bottom of the mainline. I will pull all the taps and start pumping water up the mainline. I will walk up the mainline and start plugging spouts that have water squirting out of them. This will ensure water makes it to the top most taps. Once I have squirted some water out all the taps, then I will shut off the pump and go unplug all the taps to let the system drain. Think this will work?

    Brown's Sugar Orchard, Bradford NH
    2015-2017 2x3 flat pan evaporator and 75 buckets with no clue
    2018 - running lines for the first time! 1000 foot gravity mainline and 100 taps still have no clue

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Oneida NY


    That will fill the lines but it only rinses them does little to clean them. Still better than nothing.
    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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