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Thread: New Line Installs - Brand New Woods

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Middlesex, Vermont
    Posts
    124

    Default New Line Installs - Brand New Woods

    Hi everyone,
    About to delve into the world of tubing. 3/16" is already my plan because of the great elevation I have out back and the fact that I'm only planning to do under 100 taps for the foreseeable future. I've got some questions that I'd like to poll everyone with and please don't hesitate to tell me the honest (even if less than desirable) truth about them. I'll keep it short and simple:

    3/16" install
    -recommended brand of lines/taps/fittings (ideally get everything at one location)
    -color preference?
    -average about 25 taps?
    -no spurring off laterals (don't branch off) = single line with taps only
    -how sharp of a bend (in degrees around a tree) is too sharp? Wasn't sure if 180* would be acceptable (if applicable) but wanted to know
    -is a 500' line too long? I'll be pulling sap off of neighbors trees as well and wasn't sure when I would reach the point of resistance vs vacuum
    -all 3/16" right from tap-drop-lateral? or is there a more efficient combination?
    -plan get lines towards the mainline into more of a "strand" of lines rather than a giant spider web, is building a manifold to go into the mainline about the best practice?
    -how late into summer/fall is ideal for getting the lines to the proper tension? This time of year I'm packing in 4 months worth of "sporting" type activity into 1 so I don't want to miss the ideal temperatures if that's going to be a major factor
    -any other install tips that might make life easier during install and down the road

    Mainline install
    -3/4" or 1"?
    -what size wire?
    -best pitch of mainline?
    -straight is best, but how much of an angle could it take?
    -how to bring 3/16" (refer to 3/16" question) into it.
    -cap the end of the line? then use Chinese finger trap cinch? (excuse my lack of proper terminology)
    -color preference?


    Sorry for a long post. Bear with me, I'm just hoping to keep the expenses consolidated and time investment efficient. Thanks for all your help ahead of time!
    Mead Maple "It's for the kids..."
    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
    -Homemade 275 gallon oil drum arch
    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Thetford, VT
    Posts
    348

    Default

    No much to contribute to the 3/16". I would read up on it a little more though. I may have a mis-understanding but I believe the risk of a 3/16" fitting (read this to be tap or tee or other) getting clogged seems to be a concern I am not willing to work with. This turned me away in the event I had an area of great slope and not hooked to my vacuum. I would encourage you to look at 5/16" and a small diaphragm pump if you have electricity or willing to do a 12v battery with solar. If there is a chance for vacuum or pump then I would only look at 5/16". Do some research and look at the data from UVM.

    As far as mainline I would recommend nothing less than 1". The reason being are dips and freezing. I know we talk slope and keeping it tight, but run your wire first if you choose. Sight along the wire. If there is a chance for a 3/4" dip then you will have a solid pipe some cold morning. The 1" buys you more space, although not much but more. It is also less prone to dips.

    I would use hi tension wire with a lag insulator screwed into the trees at both ends. I found spanning 75' or so and using a gripple to tension the wire works great and is quick. You can also use a wire puller and a come-a-long. If you can not get it real tight some recommend side tying with a 14 gauge wire in thinking the 14 gauge wire will give before the mainline wire will. I found gripples are quick and easy. We run a 3-5 degree slope.

    For mainline tubing I would recommend the blue tubing. They make saddles to bring sap lines into it. I believe they are also available for 3/16". I like the CDL saddles with bolts to keep them secure. If you can find a friend or an associate close to you with a SpinSeal tool that would be well worth the simple effort. A better seal than a saddle and cheaper. We have switched to this.

    Angles can be a slight, just remember as it enters a corner there is a chance for turbulence. This can impair vacuum transfer if you were to go that route or on heavy flow days. If the corner is too tight you risk of kinking the pipe. We have several angle changes, but they are minor and gradual.

    We have used the finger traps (Wire tension grips) and fund using a rope prusik is best because it can be placed mid line. You can make them or buy them online. We use a prusik with a come-a-long to get tension. At the top end of the line we use a ball valve. We use wire to tie the mainline tubing to the mainline wire. I use my hand to elbow to set the average distance. Meaning my elbow sets on the tie I just completed and I use my hand to tie the next one where it lands. I use several additional ties at the beginning and end.

    Good luck,

    Mike
    Tapping since 1985 (four generations back to early to mid 1900s). 200-250 taps on buckets and then tubing in the mid 90s. 2013- 275 taps w/sap puller 25 gal. 2014-295 taps w/sap puller 55 ga. (re-tapped to vacuum theory) 2015-330 taps full vac. 65 gal, 2016-400 taps 105 gal, 2017-400 taps 95 gal. 2018-additional 800' mainline and maybe 400 new taps for a total near 800 taps. 2x6 Leader WSE (last year on it) supported by a 250 gph RO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,617

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by VT_K9 View Post
    Do some research and look at the data from UVM.
    3/16" tubing is workable IF you do a really good job sanitizing it each year (most likely bleach) OR you plan on changing out all fittings every 3 years. Either approach will be effective. If you can't manage that, 5/16" with vacuum is the better approach OR a willingness to accept far lower sap yields on 3/16" tubing after the first couple of years.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,873

    Default

    I'm opposite VT_K9. I now have only 3/16 in my woods and I do it against all the teachings, with great results.
    I am now down to 1 bush (getting old, me not the bush) and everything has now been converted to 3/16 even though I have very little slope. I run 26-27" vacuum and many of my lines are actually lower than the releaser. I keep the lines at about 25 taps. I use 5/16 taps and drops, replace the drop every 3 years, but the tap and T are new every year. After the season I use an air water mix to clean all lines, pushing from the releaser end, just outward from the releaser out to the end. I only have 2 mains and when washing I use water from an IBC tote filled from a municipal source and air from an oiless compressor. The water is pressurized using a 120V diaphragm pump, throttled to about 2 gpm flow@ about 45 psi, the compressor runs wide open. The turbulence from the air/water mix does a good job.
    I got this latest method from a guy by the name of Krueger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQ-H7XihhA
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    4,617

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    I got this latest method from a guy by the name of Krueger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjQ-H7XihhA
    You might want to watch Art's updated video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlxsCiI5Ano

    First 20 sec of the video he states "...we found that cleaning lines with water was not sufficient." He was finding considerable plugging of fittings and a loss of sap yield. Art was a real early adopter of 3/16" tubing, so his tubing is a tad older than most installations (and these problems develop as tubing systems age and become more contaminated with microbes). After a phone conversation and an email exchange with UVM PMRC, Art tried and now uses a calcium hypochlorite sanitizing solution with good results.

    Spout replacement or CV use with 3/16" is not adequate with 3/16" tubing systems, since the problem is NOT entirely at the spout, but is also related to plugging of tees and union connectors. Therefore, in order to retain high yields with 3/16" tubing, producers must EITHER sanitize adequately (bleach or calcium hypochlorite) annually OR commit to replacing all drops (including tees) and unions about every 3 yrs and spouts each year OR accept that you will experience losses in yield.

    Cornell has found the same thing....sanitation is part of the problem, plugging connectors is the other part. I believe they had an article in the Maple News about it this spring.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NE PA (Pocono's)
    Posts
    1,360

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    Not an expert by any means but here is my experience. I like CDl 3/16ths over Lapierre. I think the Lapierre stretches more and constricts more especially around trees. Yes, you can stretch it too TIGHT! No rhyme or reason when I put it up but usually wait until bugs and heat subsides. It will tightened up even more as temps drop. I am going the change drops every 3 years route. Everything I have seen is the bacteria plug will be at the T. Remember one plug at a lower T and the whole line is a poor performer. Remove drop, T, and hence plug is cheap insurance in my mind.I try and keep bends around tress at no more than 45 degrees although if there is a tree close at a sharper angle I never pass it up...LOL. I run all my lines into separate saddles on the mainline. Again remember, if a line has an issue that's a lot of taps off line til its fixed versus the traditional 5/16ths set up. And you don't necessarily have a prompt (vacuum gauge) to tell you when something is wrong with any one line

    Good Luck
    Mike
    Algier 2x6
    Around 2500 taps
    Polaris ATVs, Ski Doo snowmobiles to get around
    Sp-22 power and lots of tanks
    Lapierre 600 RO




    http://s272.photobucket.com/albums/j...Sugar%20shack/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,151

    Default

    I have some 3/16 in my woods that is going on its 4th season, while it has worked ok for the most part it is prone to plugging, I am replacing Drops every other year, using 5/16 drops, and I tap with the vacuum on and pull taps with the vacuum on. I had some smaller runs with no vacuum pump on them and I gave up on them after the second season, the first season it worked great but it dropped off significantly the second season, again this was 3/16 lines w/o the added vacuum pump, its significantly harder to get the lines clean w/o a vacuum pump because once you pull the first tap you have lost your column of liquid that draws the vacuum.

    Basically what I am saying is that I would not use 3/16 unless you are going to be adding a vacuum pump year 2. I personally won't be running anymore 3/16 because I feel it takes more maintenance which I dont have time for, and the chances of losing yield are more significant with each squirrel chew or plugged t effecting 25 taps instead of just a few.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    Middlesex, Vermont
    Posts
    124

    Default

    Thanks everyone for all the comments. I really appreciate it.

    I think I'm willing to go through the effort of cleaning really well post season with 3/16". Should the cleaning agent of choice be left to gravity drain post cleaning and eventually dry up or is it worth to do a flush with water after that? I have seen the video by Art and I certainly like the idea of using compressed air to agitate the solution up the lines. But agree a chemical agent is worth using for the flush.

    So a big question is going to be a preference it sounds like, all 3/16" from tap to mainline or using a 5/16" set up from tap to T. I have a leftover spool of 5/16" from last season and have some "similar" runs that will be close to side by side with only slightly varying differences. Maybe it would be worth to do a side by side comparison with all new equipment and see how each run reacts with vacuum and production.

    I can see where having each line go into the main separately would be beneficial just in case one line fouls. I feel the same way about house drainage in the fact that leader drains (gutters), basement floor drains, and perimeter drains should never be tied together so as to never have a plugged outlet and the gutters end up flooding your basement.

    I'll see if any producers in the area are willing to come out and help use a SpinSeal tool here for a price. If not, saddles it is. I'll have to look up some of the tools for mainline install. I have a good means of getting mainline to the sugar house.

    My sugar house will only have a 2500watt generator to run it as of right now. That will take care of LED lighting, radio, and running the oil burner. I don't necessarily want to run a vacuum as of right now but if I do eventually install one, it will more than likely be a SurFlo with a 12v system. I'm trying to keep in mind the time I don't have available as of right now so trying to keep the system efficient but "up-gradable".

    Thanks again everyone for your contribution. I'm going to start gathering supplies and hopefully can bounce questions off folks as I have them!
    Mead Maple "It's for the kids..."
    Paul Cerminara
    2019 - First season ever
    -Homemade 275 gallon oil drum arch
    -75 taps, all on traditional buckets and drops into 5 gallon buckets
    -Goal: 3 gallons
    -Season Total: 7.5 gallons - pulled taps after running out of firewood and time
    -Fear: Becoming a member of MT.com and getting bit

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,012

    Default

    I will be going in my 4th season with 3/16 this year. I have a steep slope in the area I use it for 110 taps. I used Leader 30L tubing except for one roll of CDL when I added more. At the time I started with it, CDL was the only one making the 3/16 by 5/16 tees so I went with them. I use 5/16 drops because I had the tubing left. When I needed some repair connectors 2 years ago, I bought some Leader ones and hated them because the single barb would pull apart. I like the CDL fittings and I think the CDL tubing is holding up a little better from stretching. I wash my tubing by pumping water with some chlorine mixed in. Then I allow it to drain before plugging the drops. I have not experienced plugging. I use adapter spouts and check valve adapters. I am very pleased with the amount of sap I get. When running good, I am running 27-28” vacuum at the top. When only running marginal, having added vacuum would gain more sap.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,873

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    You might want to watch Art's updated video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlxsCiI5Ano

    First 20 sec of the video he states "...we found that cleaning lines with water was not sufficient." He was finding considerable plugging of fittings and a loss of sap yield. Art was a real early adopter of 3/16" tubing, so his tubing is a tad older than most installations (and these problems develop as tubing systems age and become more contaminated with microbes). After a phone conversation and an email exchange with UVM PMRC, Art tried and now uses a calcium hypochlorite sanitizing solution with good results.

    Spout replacement or CV use with 3/16" is not adequate with 3/16" tubing systems, since the problem is NOT entirely at the spout, but is also related to plugging of tees and union connectors. Therefore, in order to retain high yields with 3/16" tubing, producers must EITHER sanitize adequately (bleach or calcium hypochlorite) annually OR commit to replacing all drops (including tees) and unions about every 3 yrs and spouts each year OR accept that you will experience losses in yield.

    Cornell has found the same thing....sanitation is part of the problem, plugging connectors is the other part. I believe they had an article in the Maple News about it this spring.
    Sorry, I didn't mention the calcium hypochlorite. I tried that for the first time this past spring. As we pulled the taps we used the wash bottles with the solution, and the vacuum on. Then we flushed with the air/water as described above.
    Since we have only used that method the one time, it is too early to say how it worked. I will not know that until the 2020 season.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    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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