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Thread: 3/16” taps and tubing into 5gal

  1. #1
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    Default 3/16” taps and tubing into 5gal

    Hi gentlemen and women, this will be my second year doing maple syrup, last year we had a 2x4 flat pan this year we bought a 2x6 divided pan from Smokey lake and built our own Arch, I think we caught the bug! My question is I bought 3/16” taps and tubing and 5gal pails, is the 3/16” taps and tubing to small for gravity into a pail?

  2. #2
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    If you're asking if you'll get any vacuum going into a 5 gal pail, then no unfortunately. I had the same thought a few years ago, but there isn't enough drop to cause vacuum. 3/16" into a 5 gal pail is still a good setup, though - you just won't get any vacuum.
    Dave
    2014 30 taps, steam tray pans
    2015 ~100 taps, in conjunction with University of Louisville
    2x5 Smoky Lake hybrid pan

  3. #3
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    Wakefield,New Hampshire
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    If you place the bucket at least 5 or 6 feet lower than the end of the tubing you'll gain some vacuum, Longer would be better. Are you placing a bucket at each tree or running a few in line to one bucket?
    Last edited by NhShaun; 02-17-2021 at 12:29 PM.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    260 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by NhShaun View Post
    If you place the bucket at least 5 or 6 feet lower than the end of the tubing you'll gain some vacuum, Longer would be better. Are you placing a bucket at each tree or running a few in line to one bucket?
    This is true, as long as you don't have to tap higher on the tree than you normally would to accomplish the drop in height. If you tap higher up on the stem, and put the bucket at the base, you will gain natural vacuum from the dropline, but lose head pressure by moving the spout up to do it. In effect, the two cancel each other out (or you actually LOSE due to the imperfect transfer of energy).

    In other words, some of the pressure in the stem of a tree is already present due to gravity. The lower you tap the higher the head pressure. If you tap higher, you lower the head pressure. Physics dictates you can't get something from nothing.

    To make this work and actually gain vacuum, you need to put the bucket lower down the slope.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
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    Thank you all for the replies, I was wonder about the vacuum a little bit but not to big of a deal to me, I was wondering more if the 3/16” taps were to small and if it would be better to go with 5/16 taps? The reason I bought 3/16” taps was the hope to do less damage to the trees but don’t want to end up with a lot less sap either.

  6. #6
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    I didn't want to say anything since you already laid out for the 3/16 but you would probably be better off with 5/16 taps and tubing for the drops. Even if you go to 3/16 gravity tubing later there are 5/16 --> 3/16 tees.
    2019 - New 12X12 boiling pavilion
    2018 - New Mason 2X3 Hobby XL and homemade RO
    2017 - 49 taps on gravity, 6 on buckets.
    2016 - 19 taps on new 3/16 tubing, 24 on buckets
    2015 - 51 taps, 26 buckets
    2014 - 50 taps, 14 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, new 2X3 continuous flow Phaneuf from Homestead Maple
    2013 - 33 taps, 12 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans
    2012 - 26 taps, 10 buckets, steel railroad toolbox converted into arch, steam table pans

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huntingfishstick View Post
    I was wondering more if the 3/16” taps were to small and if it would be better to go with 5/16 taps?
    When you say 3/16" taps, do you mean the spout tip diameter (the part going into the tree) or the tubing connector end? Most spouts are 5/16" (or 19/64", or 1/4"), but can have either 5/16" or 3/16" tubing connectors. There are some microspouts, with 5/32" or 3/16" tips, but these are fairly uncommon.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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