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Thread: Life of 3/16 Tubing Install

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    New York Porters Corners
    Posts
    28

    Default Life of 3/16 Tubing Install

    Hobby Producer
    Most times I get more sap then I can handle from my two 3/16 25 tap installs on a mild downgrade. BUT it will be 5 years old this year. I install new taps and shorten or replace the 3/16 drops each year. Works great. Set it and forget it until my sap barrel overflows. . Notice a little bit of mold inside the lines but that has been there for past 3 years. Should I try to purge and test or just replace?
    What is maximum lifespan everone is seeing out of 3/16?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    985

    Default

    if I find mold in a section it get's replaced. I go to the nearest two trees and cut in a new tees and replace the whole section. If it's a long run to one of the trees I may add a coupler and just go to the nearest tree. I just have a thing about leaving mold in lines I am using. If I have a lateral with multiple spots of mold it get's pulled and all new. 3/16 tubing is pretty cheap as maple equipment goes, why use dirty line.
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    New York Porters Corners
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Thanks for the reply. Outside of mold when would you change out 3/16 if there is no bad abrasion or leaks.? Is there a maximum lifespan?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,104

    Default

    It depends.

    1. Are you cleaning with a sanitizer and rinsing each year? If not, there's a good chance it'll plug up after 3-5 yrs unless you cut out and replace all fittings.

    2. What was the guaranteed lifetime of the tubing you purchased? Equipment companies offer different levels of tubing quality, largely based upon the amounts of protective compounds they add to the mix. Typically 5, 10, 15 yr.

    3. Occasionally we see tubing that doesn't quite meet lifetime specs. You'll notice that it becomes brittle with age, especially in areas that get a lot of sun exposure. Once it starts to have hairline cracks and breaks you'll want to get it all out of the woods because it is just a matter of how much time you want to spend fixing breaks and losing sap.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    New York Porters Corners
    Posts
    28

    Default

    Thank you for the advice Dr. Perkins.

    I will give the lines a walk and check them out in more detail. Order for tubing is already in just in case.

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