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Thread: Leaking Spiles

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
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    Default Leaking Spiles

    Tapped in Hudson on Saturday. I use 5/16 blue plastic spouts with a 19/64 CDL tapping bit. I know about drilling straight and not over driving (at least I think I do) . This year out of my 50 taps I have about 13 that are weeping a fair amount. The interesting thing to me anyway is that they are all on trees that do not receive the same amount of sun that my other trees do, the weepers are all across the street from the southern exposed ones. I am wondering if the wood being frozen may have caused this? I would think that these trees would take longer to warm, just a theory and not sure I am stating it correctly. There is certainly nothing more frustrating than seeing these wet spots as every drop counts. I have read some articles that say a little of this is OK and somewhat normal and the tap holes may seal a little after a day or two. Does anyone have any advise on this? I am going to give them all as very light tap today as I collect to make sure I was not too light with the setting. I think that is about all I can do for this season in my opinion. I do not want to re-drill anything.
    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds
    Two kids one patient wife

  2. #2
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Do NOT tap them in any further. Weeping around the outside of the spout for a short time is normal. You've created a wound. Sap cannot move through plastic into the taphole, so a small amount of it flows on the outer edge of the taphole to the surface for a short time. This is a normal situation and will stop after a few days. Tapping it in further risks creating more damage and won't stop the weeping.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
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    The exception to what Dr. Tim state above is when you have taps that have been sealed fiine, then you have a cold snap and they start leaking afterwards. In those cases, a light tap to reseat is okay. Sometimes a real cold snap will loosen them up - especially the 5/16 bucket spiles.
    Big_Eddy
    Eastern Ontario (Quinte)
    20+ years on a 2x3 block arch,
    Homemade 20"x64" drop flue since 2011

    Build a Block Arch
    Build a Flat Pan
    Build a Flue Pan
    Sweetening the Pans
    Build a Bending Brake
    Using a Hydrotherm
    How much Sap to Sweeten?

  4. #4
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    May 2018
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    Hudson NH
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    Thank you for the information. Dr. Tim I will take your advice and leave them be. I was a bit concerned as on a few of the trees the weeping was enough that it had run down the bark about the length of the bucket which seemed to be more than just a little around the tap hole. I will not attempt to intervene. Do you think there is any merit to waiting to tap the trees on the shady side of the street until March next year and tapping the southern exposed trees earlier? It is just interesting to me that al the trees that have the southern exposure are not showing any weeping, maybe just a coincidence.

    Thank you for the feedback from both of you. UVM grad 2000, go cats go, I think this hobby is costing me about what the tuition bill was back then!
    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds
    Two kids one patient wife

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Eddy View Post
    The exception to what Dr. Tim state above is when you have taps that have been sealed fiine, then you have a cold snap and they start leaking afterwards. In those cases, a light tap to reseat is okay. Sometimes a real cold snap will loosen them up - especially the 5/16 bucket spiles.
    That is correct. If the weeping stops for a time, and then begins again AFTER a cold snap, then reseating them is fine. As noted, this is more typically the case for bucket spouts.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMP Maple View Post
    Do you think there is any merit to waiting to tap the trees on the shady side of the street until March next year and tapping the southern exposed trees earlier? It is just interesting to me that al the trees that have the southern exposure are not showing any weeping, maybe just a coincidence....

    I think this hobby is costing me about what the tuition bill was back then!
    Keeping in mind that you shouldn't put 2 tapholes in a tree unless it is large enough (18" diameter), then you could do that. Tap some trees earlier on the south side and some later on the north.

    RE: cost of the hobby. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqreE_O6mBU&app=desktop
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
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    The whole family got a kick out of that! So true. I can remember my dad doing 90% of that growing up and I am headed down the same path. Thanks for sharing the video and for the advice.
    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds
    Two kids one patient wife

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Central Wisconsin
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Do NOT tap them in any further. Weeping around the outside of the spout for a short time is normal. You've created a wound. Sap cannot move through plastic into the taphole, so a small amount of it flows on the outer edge of the taphole to the surface for a short time. This is a normal situation and will stop after a few days. Tapping it in further risks creating more damage and won't stop the weeping.
    If the weeping continues after a week with very little flow in the bucket, would it merit removing the 5/16 spiles with leaks and replace them with 7/16 bucket spiles that I have from years past before I went to 5/16?
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
    2006- 2017 70 buckets and bags
    2017-2019 100 bags and buckets
    2020 Finally retired!!! 75 buckets, 50-75 on tubing. RO Bucket, New 12 X 16 Shack and a 36X42 flat pan.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trapper2 View Post
    If the weeping continues after a week with very little flow in the bucket, would it merit removing the 5/16 spiles with leaks and replace them with 7/16 bucket spiles that I have from years past before I went to 5/16?
    If you're not getting much of any flow...wait. Reassess for the wet spot AFTER the sap starts to run a bit. Sounds like you might still just be frozen up. That should change this week.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  10. #10
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    Central Wisconsin
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    If you're not getting much of any flow...wait. Reassess for the wet spot AFTER the sap starts to run a bit. Sounds like you might still just be frozen up. That should change this week.
    I should have been clearer, other buckets have 1" of sap in them after 3-4 hours and the others have a 12" diameter wet spot below the spile..
    1960 - 1970s 70 taps on galvanized buckets with Dad and Grandpa.
    1970s - 1985 Acted crazy!
    1986 - 2005 20-30 buckets.
    2006- 2017 70 buckets and bags
    2017-2019 100 bags and buckets
    2020 Finally retired!!! 75 buckets, 50-75 on tubing. RO Bucket, New 12 X 16 Shack and a 36X42 flat pan.
    Lots of Family and Friends and a dog named Skyy!

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