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Thread: Tubing/Tapping Recommendations: 3/16 vs 5/16, rigid vs semi rigid

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Weston, CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmead View Post
    My suggestion would be go with the 3/4 mainline and 5/16 tubing. with as little drop as your explaining 3/16 would not gain much vacuum and has been shown to have major clogging issues in future years. I installed a 1500 tap woods on 3/16 and removed all of it after the second season and the yield drop i saw.

    As for tubing it self i prefer leader max grip for lateral lines and leader max flex for droplines. grip is a little more than uni50 however much easier to work with and holds in the woods better imo.

    Taps i would switch to 5/16 vs 7/16 for tree health, the yield difference is minimal and the tree healing is much better!

    Connecting 5/16 laterals to the mainline i prefer H20 saddles.

    Mainline should have 2% or greater pitch, it can be run with less however it has to be absolutely perfect. if 2% is tough to get in your woods i would recommend going to a 1" mainline vs a 3/4
    Good way to go IMO. I would add that you should make certain that your 5/16 have a decent length of undisturbed final run into the 3/4 mainline after the last tap of say 50 feet or more, as much as you possibly can. If you have a tree or trees down near the mainline and a long 5/16 line coming down from trees up higher, then do not tee into that 5/16 line from the down low tree. It will corrupt any flow/vacuum generated in the long 5/16 line coming from the upper trees.
    If you have taps near the mainline they should be individually submitted to the mainline or with no more then two or three other taps from other low trees into the mainline.

    In these off the grid vacuum setups, it seems to me a 3/4 or 1 inch mainline should be appropriately named a "lateral" line as it should slope down and across the slope "laterally". And any 5/16 lines should be called "vertical" or "vacuum" lines as they should run vertical down the slope as much as they can, synergizing slope and drop into vacuum and into the "lateral" mainline where in theory it should become vacuum less, unless of course you decide to vacuum the output of the mainline with a pump.

    Your vacuum generation will take place only in the long 5/16 lines into the mainline so long as it is not corrupted by any T's inn the long final run into the mainline. Of course this is contingent on a decent amount of slope in your grove.

    And it raises the question to me does it make sense to "vent" the end of a mainline in this scenario??? I would say yes, but I only have experience in this scenario by generating vacuum on 5/16" lines into barrels at the bottom of a run rather then a mainline. The good thing about this is it has shown what works well and what fails as I can see directly how much each run has generated and don't need a gauge to know if I am generating vacuum or not. Although this year I plan to use a gauge to see how much more vacuum I could be generating.

    And YES you can generate beneficial vacuum in 5/16 if it is set up correctly.

    Do not put more then 10 taps or less then 5 on a 5/16 vacuum run at peak flow times if they are big trees.

    If they are small trees go 15 to 10.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  2. #12
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    Dec 2015
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    Weston, CT
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    After revisiting your landscape I would say that you should have no more the 4 or 5 taps on a 5/16 "vertical" line. The more of that 10 vertical feet that the final run into the mainline takes up from the last tap to the mainline, the better your 4 or 5 taps will do. You may at least be as good with taps to individual buckets.

    If you do more then 4 or 5 taps on this landscape you will sap clog for sure and definitely be worse then taps with drops to individual buckets.

    4 SURE!
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarmallCT View Post
    Thank you, I am leaning towards sticking with that idea for the setup. I believe I should be able to get a 2-4% pitch on the mainline, at least in the section I plan to put up this year. Will have 200 taps max heading in the direction I am heading since it is uphill to the base of our small field and up the sides, with little to no expansion potential beyond the field other than the edges along the road. Wasn't sure if there was any major benefit between going up to 1" or if 3/4" would be sufficient in this spot due to the low number of potential taps. If I were to go further into the woods where there is more potential I would definitely go bigger.

    Where do you get your lines/materials from? I used Bascoms last year and have not had any issues. I see the the Max Grip and Max Flex listed on the site so might try them out. Will definitely check out the 5/16 taps. Any suggestions between the green antibacterial, CDL white health, Leader tree saver, stuby with adapter, etc? Are any spouts for use with vacuum only so I can avoid them? I know seasonal spouts are an option as well, though not sure of the advantages/disadvantages on these either.

    The one thing I have not been able to find on Bascom's site are the H2O mainline saddles you mentioned. Do you have a different supplier for these? I have seen several others on the Bascom site, not sure what the differences are with the different styles, or how some go together such as the full plastic wrap around vs stainless steel clamp, but was looking at the CDL stationary saddle or the saddle with the stainless clamp. Only thing I am unsure of is if they are complete or additional parts such as gaskets are sold separately.

    Thank you again for all the help and advice!

    Matt

    If your expansion in future will run into the system your putting in now, be sure to size this system appropriately. If not 3/4 will likely work well.

    I have a local dealer (Wendel's Maple) I work with for my materials, he carries leader, h2o and a bunch of other brands.

    Taps wise I suggest leader check valve, either the stubby adapter style or the disposable/seasonal. Weather you go with the check valve or not I recommend replacing the tap each season. research shows huge yield improvement in both replacing taps and the use of check valve taps. the advantage being a clean, bacteria free tap and tap hole prevents the tree from walling off cells. Giving you better runs throughout the season and possibly a longer season and more sap.

    I am not sure if Bascoms carries H20 products, their website has a dealer locator section to find a dealer near you.(https://h2oinnovation.net/en/)

    The advantage with the h20 in my opinion is the gasket both seals the hole and a large are around the hole. The stainless clamp style (dsd brand) has a very small gasket and does not insert in the hole, making the seal iffy and them hard to get a perfect install on. I have seen this style fail in my woods, and i have since replaced them all.

    I have not played with the cdl saddle at all, the h20 saddle wraps completely and is secured with a stainless screw instead of a plastic tab.

    Never a problem!! if you have any questions feel free to reach out and ask!

    Brandon Mead
    D&B Maple

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
    Good way to go IMO. I would add that you should make certain that your 5/16 have a decent length of undisturbed final run into the 3/4 mainline after the last tap of say 50 feet or more, as much as you possibly can. If you have a tree or trees down near the mainline and a long 5/16 line coming down from trees up higher, then do not tee into that 5/16 line from the down low tree. It will corrupt any flow/vacuum generated in the long 5/16 line coming from the upper trees.
    If you have taps near the mainline they should be individually submitted to the mainline or with no more then two or three other taps from other low trees into the mainline.

    In these off the grid vacuum setups, it seems to me a 3/4 or 1 inch mainline should be appropriately named a "lateral" line as it should slope down and across the slope "laterally". And any 5/16 lines should be called "vertical" or "vacuum" lines as they should run vertical down the slope as much as they can, synergizing slope and drop into vacuum and into the "lateral" mainline where in theory it should become vacuum less, unless of course you decide to vacuum the output of the mainline with a pump.

    Your vacuum generation will take place only in the long 5/16 lines into the mainline so long as it is not corrupted by any T's inn the long final run into the mainline. Of course this is contingent on a decent amount of slope in your grove.

    And it raises the question to me does it make sense to "vent" the end of a mainline in this scenario??? I would say yes, but I only have experience in this scenario by generating vacuum on 5/16" lines into barrels at the bottom of a run rather then a mainline. The good thing about this is it has shown what works well and what fails as I can see directly how much each run has generated and don't need a gauge to know if I am generating vacuum or not. Although this year I plan to use a gauge to see how much more vacuum I could be generating.

    And YES you can generate beneficial vacuum in 5/16 if it is set up correctly.

    Do not put more then 10 taps or less then 5 on a 5/16 vacuum run at peak flow times if they are big trees.

    If they are small trees go 15 to 10.
    The only thing i will add is not to vent the 5/16, this nulls any vacuum you are trying to create. It also allows bacteria into the system and the trees. studies have shown vented systems produce drastically less sap

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Weston, CT
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmead View Post
    The only thing i will add is not to vent the 5/16, this nulls any vacuum you are trying to create. It also allows bacteria into the system and the trees. studies have shown vented systems produce drastically less sap
    Yes I agree but I was not suggesting to vent any 5/16 runs into the mainline which if he gets any vacuum at all in this landscape he will only get it formed from the final run of the 5/16 tubing into the 3/4 mainline. I don't think he will have enough slope to generate vacuum in the 3/4 mainline even if he does fill it with enough sap. And if he does fill the 3/4 mainline with sap I think he will be better off venting it with this pitch. I was suggesting he vent the 3/4 mainline so that if it proves too small at times of peak flow he could open the vent for peak flow and then shut it down again. Bacteria that gets into the 3/4 mainline should be a good distance from the taps and unless you plug the output of the 3/4 it will be there anyway. And even it you do plug the output of the 3/4 religiously between flow the bacteria will still get there anyway.

    No definitely do not vent the tops of the 5/16 runs. That is different from what I am saying.

    I think Wilmont has suggested venting in this situation but I am not certain of that.

    Here ... read these two paragraphs from Tims article in 2013. He is spot on, but he should substitute the term "Vertical Line" where he uses the term "Lateral Line". You want these 5/16 lines to be Vertical down the slope as much as possible and not Lateral or across it. Call the mainline "Lateral" or slightly sloping. Its a non vacuum line. And could be vented to facilitate flow as Tim says. Anyway none of us are writers and that is why we have to learn a lot of this stuff on our own. Cause it makes for "intuitive confusion".

    Tim Wilmont says the following .... pay careful attention to the last sentence of the second paragraph. That is the most important sentence in this thread

    In contrast, a gravity line does not rely on air displacement; instead, vacuum is generated in each closed lateral line by the weight of the sap. In a gravity line that is leak free, the highest vacuum is at the top of each lateral line, and diminishes to nothing (atmospheric pressure) at the bottom where the line joins a mainline or empties into a tank. Thus trees lower along any line may be subject to some, but not the maximum possible vacuum, unless there is a significant amount of vertical drop on the line below the tree. For this reason, the ideal arrangement would be a line connecting trees near the top of a slope, and then a stretch of line below these trees continuing down the slope to the tank or mainline. This may not always be possible.

    Although great diligence is necessary to keep spouts tight and lines leak free, the advantage of natural gravity vacuum is that each line is independent-unlike vacuum coming from a distant pump, the vacuum is generated in each individual line and a leak in one line does not affect other lines in the system. Mainlines should slope gradually in order to drain the sap into a tank, but mainlines in this system will not be under vacuum and could in fact be open at the far end in order to facilitate flow of sap down their length. Thus, in setting up a system, place the mainlines across the slope at a shallow angle, and run the lateral lines straight up the slope where they will generate the maximum vacuum due to elevation change.
    Last edited by Sugar Bear; 01-08-2021 at 05:24 PM.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  6. #16
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    Location
    NY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
    Yes I agree but I was not suggesting to vent any 5/16 runs into the mainline which if he gets any vacuum at all in this landscape he will only get it formed from the final run of the 5/16 tubing into the 3/4 mainline. I don't think he will have enough slope to generate vacuum in the 3/4 mainline even if he does fill it with enough sap. And if he does fill the 3/4 mainline with sap I think he will be better off venting it with this pitch. I was suggesting he vent the 3/4 mainline so that if it proves too small at times of peak flow he could open the vent for peak flow and then shut it down again. Bacteria that gets into the 3/4 mainline should be a good distance from the taps and unless you plug the output of the 3/4 it will be there anyway. And even it you do plug the output of the 3/4 religiously between flow the bacteria will still get there anyway.

    No definitely do not vent the tops of the 5/16 runs. That is different from what I am saying.

    I think Wilmont has suggested venting in this situation but I am not certain of that.

    Here ... read these two paragraphs from Tims article in 2013. He is spot on, but he should substitute the term "Vertical Line" where he uses the term "Lateral Line". You want these 5/16 lines to be Vertical down the slope as much as possible and not Lateral or across it. Call the mainline "Lateral" or slightly sloping. Its a non vacuum line. And could be vented to facilitate flow as Tim says. Anyway none of us are writers and that is why we have to learn a lot of this stuff on our own. Cause it makes for "intuitive confusion".

    Tim Wilmont says the following .... pay careful attention to the last sentence of the second paragraph. That is the most important sentence in this thread

    In contrast, a gravity line does not rely on air displacement; instead, vacuum is generated in each closed lateral line by the weight of the sap. In a gravity line that is leak free, the highest vacuum is at the top of each lateral line, and diminishes to nothing (atmospheric pressure) at the bottom where the line joins a mainline or empties into a tank. Thus trees lower along any line may be subject to some, but not the maximum possible vacuum, unless there is a significant amount of vertical drop on the line below the tree. For this reason, the ideal arrangement would be a line connecting trees near the top of a slope, and then a stretch of line below these trees continuing down the slope to the tank or mainline. This may not always be possible.

    Although great diligence is necessary to keep spouts tight and lines leak free, the advantage of natural gravity vacuum is that each line is independent-unlike vacuum coming from a distant pump, the vacuum is generated in each individual line and a leak in one line does not affect other lines in the system. Mainlines should slope gradually in order to drain the sap into a tank, but mainlines in this system will not be under vacuum and could in fact be open at the far end in order to facilitate flow of sap down their length. Thus, in setting up a system, place the mainlines across the slope at a shallow angle, and run the lateral lines straight up the slope where they will generate the maximum vacuum due to elevation change.
    I under stand the venting of the mainline on a gravity system. i just wanted to be sure your post was not miss interpreted to mean venting 5/16.
    owner/operator, D&B Maple
    Tubing system consultations, installs and repair
    https://www.facebook.com/DB-Maple-110587323841677

    Operator, Fairbanks Maple
    6,000 tap family sugaring operation
    https://www.facebook.com/FairbanksMaple

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    As long as they are appropriately sized and sloped, mainlines don't really need to be vented. Doing so risks loss of sap if there is a freeze-up or other type of plugging somewhere along the line.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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