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Thread: Positive Pressure Pump for Cleaning 3/16" Lines

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Buckland MA
    Posts
    3

    Default Positive Pressure Pump for Cleaning 3/16" Lines

    Hi Folks,

    Long time lurker here. I have approximately 900 taps on a steep site in Western Mass. I only sell sap. I have a double Guzzler (controlled by a Mountain Maple Controller) pulling on about 2500' of 1" mainline (cheap black poly). I have about 50 3/16" lines joining the mainline. I have as much as 300 vertical feet from the tops to my tank. The system is 4-5 years old and the 3/16" lines are getting nasty. I do have power on site.

    I have tried flushing the system with my well and an air compressor but can only flush the lower lines due to the elevation. I have also tried the squirt bottle Maple Flats suggests. I found the squirt bottle difficult to get the drops filled with enough contact time to sanitize well. I would like to try some kind of positive pressure pump to better flush the upper lines. I would have to have a pressure relief set at around 100psi to protect the poly. Hauling a tank to the top and flushing down is not a good option due to the steep terrain.

    Any suggestions for a pump which will not break the bank? I would be flushing with sodium hypochlorite and then water. I know the bleach can be hard on pumps but it will only be used once a year and I am hoping a thorough wash and flush would protect it. Chemical resistant pumps seem to be very expensive.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Jack
    Buckland MA

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
    Posts
    311

    Default

    I believe that your issue will be the 300' of head plus friction loss.

    A quick search came up with using a deep well pump but they are primarily pull up instead of push up that you would need. Im not sure if that would matter though. The other consideration is do you have a way to isolate one lateral at a time so that the pump is only dealing with the friction and head for that one lateral? Or would you be pumping into individual laterals? Or would the pump be filling the entire system at one time?
    Not sure of your layout but perhaps a gas engine pump might be able to overcome the elevation and friction if you were to clean individual laterals from the bottom of that lateral but I have not seen one that is rated for 300' head.
    A stainless steel pump housing and impeller would handle the cleaners.

    My sugar bush is similar to yours with around 300' elevation change and 2000 feet on mainline but until this year I have only used vacuum created from gravity. I have been using vice grips to pinch the tubing at the bottom of the lateral then using a pump up sprayer to fill the lateral one spout at a time. PITA and time consuming but it seems to be working. I will definitely be following this thread for ideas. Good luck.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Lancaster NH
    Posts
    107

    Default

    You could try a progressive cavity pump, they can over come a lot of head pressure.
    44 27'08/71 27'56
    300 totalish taps 250 on tube and bosworth sap sucker
    50 bucket and bags about 40-50 gallons a season
    on a 2 by 7 home made evaporator and sugar shack
    1st gen circa 1966 still learning stuff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,615

    Default

    If you ever were to get a pump that can push 300' of head, the tubing fittings would blow apart. They are not made to grip the tubing at such pressure. Somehow, you must clean from the top IMHO.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    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
    5,101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    If you ever were to get a pump that can push 300' of head, the tubing fittings would blow apart. They are not made to grip the tubing at such pressure. Somehow, you must clean from the top IMHO.
    Agree with both parts of this reply. Fittings would blow apart and probably best to clean from top down.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
    Posts
    399

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    I have a goodrich tubing washer and push water up 800-1000 vertical feet and 3/4 of a mile up the hill. I think I am the only one around this area that still washes pipe line.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Location
    Buckland MA
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Matt---I can valve off maybe 400 of the taps at different points. When I tried flushing before I tied off the mainline loops with a tie wire to block sections of lateral, only trying to flush say 4 laterals at a time.

    Brian, Thanks. Does your washer only use fluid or does it use air as well? As Doctor Tim and Dave stated I would be very concerned about splitting poly mainline and blowing fittings. If you are lifting over 800' you must be building some high pressure?

    Cleaning from the top would be tough I think. By my math a 100' run of 3/16 would have about 5.5 gallons of fluid in it. Basically 1 backpack sprayer for every one of my 50 laterals (some are only 300-400 but they do reach 1000). If I had a 4 wheeler I could maybe tow a 50 gallon tank up there but I don't. In the future I will be switching to a traditional high vac system on 5/16...the 3/16 is just lots of work.

    Jack

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I have a goodrich tubing washer and push water up 800-1000 vertical feet and 3/4 of a mile up the hill. I think I am the only one around this area that still washes pipe line.
    Yes, if you use air/water mix appropriately it can work. Won’t work simply with an inexpensive pump.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
    Posts
    399

    Default

    I have manifolds to control the water to each main line. the pump is set to bypass at 75-80 psi and the air is set at around 100 psi. and make sure at least 3 tubing end lines are open at all time, works great. When I first started washing pipe line, I could not afford a Goodrich tubing washer and used a cheap shallow well pump from abuchons and a 40 gallon air compressor from Homedepot with a make shift air/water manifold. It worked but not as good as Glen Goodriches. I belive the rule is 2 shots of air to one shot of water.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    379

    Default

    I was just looking at sap volumes in tubing recently so this caught my eye. 100' of 3/16 tubing has only about a pint of fluid in it if full (0.14 gallons) so you might need less that expected. 100' of 1" tubing has about 4 gallons when full, so 100 gallons will fill the 2500 ft 1" line.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by jackhdn View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    By my math a 100' run of 3/16 would have about 5.5 gallons of fluid in it.

    Jack
    Mountain Maple farm
    2020: 207 taps, 60% red maples. Mountain Maple S3 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

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