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Thread: Moisture trap

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    206

    Default Moisture trap

    Anyone make a moisture trap to protect their vacuum pump? I bought a used Gast rotary vane and will need to either build or buy a moisture trap. Any ideas, photos, comments?
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Derby, Vermont
    Posts
    381

    Default

    i built one using schedule 40 pvc pipe. i believe it's out of 3" necked down the 1 1/2"? actually i have two of them in succession before my pump. i dont' have a picture so i'll try to explain it. at the top is a 3" to 1 1/2" reducer fitting. (i think it's 1 1/2"... whatever size a racket ball fits into snug). that is where the vacuum comes in. then it's a 3' length of 3" pipe, then a 3" tee, which is reduced to a 1" vacuum line. on the bottom, a reducer to a threaded 3/4" port for a 3/4" ball valve for draining. where the 3" pipe meets the tee, i glued in a wire basket, and put a racket ball in/in it. the racket ball fits the port where the vacuum comes in perfectly creating an airtight seal to avoid disaster. i check the moisture trap drain each time i shut my pump off. usually its dry , but early in the year there tends to be a bit of sap in there due to ice mist being sucked in. i believe my 30 cfm pump is a bit over powered for my hobby releaser. hope that helps. i can get some pictures if i think of it next time i'm in my shack.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default

    I built 3 over the years. The first one was 3" PVC about 42" long. It was mounted on top of a 1000 gal vacuum tank. I had the 2 main conductors coming into the system 10" up above the tank at a T that was 3x3x1.5". The vacuum came in at the top at a 3x1.25" coupling which then had a 1.25 to 2" ell then to the pump. That proved too small once and sap got to the pump. Then I made another out of 4" PVC, similar design, but this time the sap entered the vacuum tank at one end and this 4" trap and the vacuum pulled from the other end. That way it could only need to stop the vacuum if the tank filled. The time it failed was due to ice and the tank was not full. That second one never failed. That system was about 650 taps using an Alamo 30 and ran at 19" to protect the tank.
    At another bush I made one that was 4" PVC 64" tall. That was on an Alamo 75, pulling into a double vertical releaser. One time as things froze, slush formed on one of the releaser dump ports and held the flapper open slightly. Then sap pulled into the moisture trap, iced it up and finally into the pump which also froze solid. It did not ruin the pump but I had to remove the pump and moisture trap, take them home to thaw. I thawed the pump carefully using a weed burner torch and heating the whole pump slowly. On the moisture trap I took it home, put it in the shower and ran the warm shower on it for almost 2 hrs before the ice was out. By the time I got the system back up and running I had lost 6 hrs of sap flow from the time I discovered it was frozen. No guess on what time during the night it had failed.
    On my next system I bought a moisture trap (From Ed Sobles) and it never failed. It did stop the vacuum flow twice as the releaser had frozen but moisture never got to the pump. I now shut the pumps off about 2 hrs after the temp is forecast to get to 30F. Then I turn it back on when the temp gets to 34 the next day.
    The first 2 described were on an Alamo 30 running at 19". The third was on an Alamo 75 but only running at 17" because that was all I could get with a 6.5 hp Honda. I then bought a 9 HP Honda and set it to run a 23". Each had a racket ball to stop the flow if the trap filled with sap. The last one is at the sugarhouse, using a BB4 on an electric motor and it pulls 26-27" and it has a Sobles trap.
    Based on the failures of my homemade traps I will never make one again. Sobles sells them for $800 last I knew.
    Last edited by maple flats; 08-27-2019 at 08:23 AM.
    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
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Esko,MN
    Posts
    206

    Default

    tcross
    I'd really like to see some photos if you get the chance totake a few. It's a little tough for me to visualize.

    maple flats and tcross
    Thanks for replying.
    Chad

    2014: 12 taps, 5 gal buckets
    2015: 15 taps on bags
    2016: 150 taps: 100 on bags, 50 on 3/16" natural vac, 2x8 AUF/AOF Homebuilt Arch, 2x8 SL Drop Flu & Auto Draw, SL Propane Canner/Bottler
    2017: 225 taps: Built Lean to, Added SL hood, preheater, concentric exhaust, SL SS 7" SB Filter Press
    2018: 180 taps: Added Shurflo to 50 - 3/16", Auto fill sensor to head tank
    2019: No tapping
    2020: ?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Derby, Vermont
    Posts
    381

    Default

    yeah, i meant to take a few pics last weekend and totally spaced out on it. i'll get some this week and post them so you can get a better idea.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default

    I don't have any pictures and I trashed the ones I built years ago, did not keep them. However I can describe how I built the one that worked best. The main body was 4" PVC pipe and 64" tall. On the top I had a reducer that (coupler) was 4" on one end and 1.25" on the other. The trap was mounted vertically. About 12" below that top coupler I had a Wye, it was 4" top and bottom with a 2" facing up 45 degrees out the side. That attached to my releaser, the vacuum supply for the releaser. Out the top I had an elbow, 1.25" to 1.5" which attached to the vac pump. and initially at the bottom I had another coupler, 4" to 2", then a 2x x 1" ell. The 1" had a screw in plug to drain any moisture. After I had a failure (freeze up as sap formed slush in the releaser and when it dumped some slush held the flapper open causing the slush to freeze solid, see reply #3) I changed the bottom to an elbow and flapper (4" x 2" coupler, then 2" x 1.5" ell then a 1.5" 45 and finally a flapper check. Then every time I shut the pump off ( to fuel and check or change the oil) any moisture was dumped. That never failed but I also never had a slush freeze again either. After that I tried to time when the temperature would drop to 30F and try to run out of gas within an hour of that. That approach seemed to work.
    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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Enfield NH
    Posts
    253

    Default

    I use a vertically-oriented 4" pvc pipe with a raquet ball inside. It sits inline between the releaser and the vacuum pump. Line to vacuum pump is screwed into the top cap, line to releaser is at the side, mid-way up. If the releaser fails and it the trap fills with sap, the raquet ball floats to the top and (hopefully) prevents sap from being sucked into the vacuum. It has a drain valve on the bottom, but I almost never find any liquid inside.

    Dave,
    I don't understand your system(s). What prevents sap that accumulates and fills the trap from getting sucked into your vacuum pump? You make no mention of a racquet ball or other flow-stopping device?
    Boulder Trail Sugaring
    140 Taps on Vacuum
    Homemade Releaser
    Homemade 20"x40" Hybrid Pan - 15 gph
    Homemade Steamaway - 10 gph
    Waterguys single-post RO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,759

    Default

    Yes, sorry, mine had a racquet ball, I just forgot to mention that. That was the reason for the 1.25" outlet, then back up to larger to be certain the ball did not get sucked thru if I had used a 1.5" fitting. Then it was back up to larger. If a size reduction is short enough it doesn't seem to affect the CFM like a long run does.
    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

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    If a size reduction is short enough it doesn't seem to affect the CFM like a long run does.
    CFM is flow of air in a pipe. Flow rate in a pipe (vacuum is just low pressure) is related to radius of the pipe, length of pipe, viscosity of the material (air...not viscous at all), and the pressure. By far the radius has the largest effect however -- in the formula it is to the 4th power of the radius, so you don't want to neck it down too far or too many times.

    If you really want to make your brain ache, look up the Reynold's and Bernoulli equations, and the Hagen-Poiseuille Law. Don't say I didn't warn you.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 09-11-2019 at 02:39 PM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Derby, Vermont
    Posts
    381

    Default

    moisture trap.jpg

    here's a pic of my moisture traps.
    Awfully thankful for an understanding wife!

    “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
    - Vincent “Vince” Lombardi

    Good luck to all!

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