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Thread: 3/16 drops and laterals into 5/16 mainline

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Saratoga, NY


    Hi, I am finding this thread while researching a similar setup in our (small) sugar bush - any report back on how the all 3/16 approach worked out?

    We have good slope that is currently tapped with 3 lines of 3/16 with 25 or so taps on each, it then reaches a bit of a "gulley" (as we would call it here, basically a flat depression) and there is moderate to mild slope down the rest of the way to the valley floor. I would say maybe 15-20 feet of drop over 200-250 feet of distance.

    I had read before that 3/16 might not be ideal because of the decrease in slope and the build up of resistance due to friction but this seems to suggest the overall drop in height from the top would overcome that?
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on block arch and hotel pans
    2017: SAME
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets..."new" oil tank arch setup
    2021: 100 taps (50/50 buckets/3-16 tubing) on 2x4 divided pan
    2022: 150 taps (50/100 b/t) on 2x4 pan with sap warmer pan
    2023: SAME
    2024: 150 taps, added single-post 4x40 RO system

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Washington, Maine


    The configuration did not work out as I had hoped. We only end up with about 16 gallons of syrup from a total of 175 taps for the 2022 season. The slope on the top section was flatter than anticipated so therefore I had to many taps per line which created a log jam and slowed down the flow before dropping down to the collection tank. This year I decided to pull all the 3/16 lines. Made the decision to run 1 inch mainline throughout and use 3/16 laterals from tree to mainline added another 125 taps for a total of 300 taps. Each lateral will have approximately 5-15 taps each. The laterals longest run to mainline is no more than 100 feet. Installing a guzzler pump to pull the sap. I am excited to see how this improvement is for this season.

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