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Thread: Sureflow System Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    32

    Default Sureflow System Question

    I'm thinking about next year already.
    I have a small stand of red maples at the back of my property that I currently use spiles and bags on.
    I'd like to set up a sureflow pump and run a line back to the area and am wondering if it is possible.

    Specs:

    Total distance about 900'.
    40 - 50 taps.
    Zero elevation change.

    Questions if possible,
    What size main line should be used?
    Can I lay the tubing on the ground? (I need to take it in at the end of season)

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    246

    Default

    Too much distance and not enough elevation for a mainline. I'd put 20-25 taps on each of 2 3/16 laterals and run em all the way to the pump. Use 2 each 1/2" PVC tees and an elbow to make a manifold. One tee and an 8" nipple for your vac gauge and one for a lateral, and the elbow for the other lateral. I've got 36 taps 16 reds & 20 sugars on 3 laterals on my shurflo, the longest laterals are both about 700' long, the short one, (which the last 100' or so, runs uphill about 3' ) is 350' long. The last few runs I've got from 45-100 gallon per day out of these 36 trees, 1 tap each. 3/16 laterals with 5/16 drops. CDL health spouts.

    I have two laterals on my gravity mainline in another woods, both are 1600' long, 44 taps on one and 48 on the other, way more than the 30 recommended, but with 50' of elevation after the last tap they both pull 28" of vac, and on nights it doesn't freeze, they run all night an into the next day.

    Don't put em on the ground, they won't thaw and critters will chew on em. Tubing is pretty forgiving and you can stretch it pretty tight between trees, use 1/4" nylon rope like a chinese finger trap to secure it on the pump end if you need to. I have a few step in fence posts I use tp keep it off the ground in between trees.

    Here's the 1/2"-5/16" adapters i use to connect my laterals to the PVC- I have to use 3/16-5/16 reducers from the maple supply house to reduce the last foot of tubing. There may be an easier way, but I have both sizes of tubing in my woods. Good luck.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    Last edited by bmbmkr; 03-03-2021 at 06:57 PM.
    2012 15 jugs
    2017 125 3/16 -18"x 6' drop flue, home made arch
    2018 240 3/16 -Deer Run 125 RO
    2019 450 3/16 -converted RO to electric, added a membrane
    2020 600 3/16 -Maple Pro 2x6 Raised Flue, added AOF/AUF
    2021 570 3/16 -built a SS steam hood, new Smoky Lake SS filter press

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    32

    Default

    Thank you for the comments tips and information.
    One question, why the 5/16" drops? Why not us 3/16" for all?

    Thanks.


    Quote Originally Posted by bmbmkr View Post
    Too much distance and not enough elevation for a mainline. I'd put 20-25 taps on each of 2 3/16 laterals and run em all the way to the pump. Use 2 each 1/2" PVC tees and an elbow to make a manifold. One tee and an 8" nipple for your vac gauge and one for a lateral, and the elbow for the other lateral. I've got 36 taps 16 reds & 20 sugars on 3 laterals on my shurflo, the longest laterals are both about 700' long, the short one, (which the last 100' or so, runs uphill about 3' ) is 350' long. The last few runs I've got from 45-100 gallon per day out of these 36 trees, 1 tap each. 3/16 laterals with 5/16 drops. CDL health spouts.

    I have two laterals on my gravity mainline in another woods, both are 1600' long, 44 taps on one and 48 on the other, way more than the 30 recommended, but with 50' of elevation after the last tap they both pull 28" of vac, and on nights it doesn't freeze, they run all night an into the next day.

    Don't put em on the ground, they won't thaw and critters will chew on em. Tubing is pretty forgiving and you can stretch it pretty tight between trees, use 1/4" nylon rope like a chinese finger trap to secure it on the pump end if you need to. I have a few step in fence posts I use tp keep it off the ground in between trees.

    Here's the 1/2"-5/16" adapters i use to connect my laterals to the PVC- I have to use 3/16-5/16 reducers from the maple supply house to reduce the last foot of tubing. There may be an easier way, but I have both sizes of tubing in my woods. Good luck.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2021
    Location
    SE NH
    Posts
    9

    Default

    I'm planning a similar setup next year, not nearly that distance, but very flat and roughly the same number of reds. I've read several members suggest using 5/16 in this kind of setup. 3/16 is best suited for setups with good elevation change
    2019 - 10 taps on buckets, turkey fryer
    2020 - 26 taps on buckets, block arch w/ 3 steam pans
    2021 - 60 taps (mostly reds) on buckets, block arch w/ 4 steam pans

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    415

    Default

    You won't be able to effectively pull sap on flat 5/16 tubing runs, but you can pull sap on flat 3/16 runs. There is more friction loss on the 3/16 tubing so neither solution is ideal, but I think you will get more sap on the 3/16 with vacuum than with the 5/16.

    Dave
    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/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    11,084

    Default

    I've used the 3/16 method for 4 seasons and done fairly well. It does require some special attention however. In yr 1, nothing special, until after the season, then you must clean the tubing using Calcium Hypochlorite (a calcium based chlorine), fill the tubing, let it set a minimum of 30 minutes or even overnight, then drain it and flush with clean potable water. Repeat in mid fall for even better results. Then, before season 2-3-4 and so forth, cut out all tees and any couplers in the 3/16 and replace them, after a final flush. The reason is that the holes in the 3/16 fittings are so small little flakes of debris can and will plug them, stopping the sap flow. While this can work, even with a ShurFlo, you will get less sap than if you had good elevation drop or 5/16 on high vacuum. But I have found the sap you get is well worth it, and the cost to get it was far lower than using conventional methods.
    Now, to answer the question, why 5/16 drop and taps? The reason for that is because in 3/16 the sap doesn't ever pass the air (gases from the tree) in the tubing, but in 5/16 it does. Thus, as the tree freezes it pulls some now contaminated sap back into the tap hole with 3/16, but less or hopefully non if using 5/16 drops. In yr 1, seasonal taps are fine, in yrs 2 and beyond I use CV2 taps.
    By the way, Reds will give you lots more sap on vacuum that without. Using a ShurFlo I can't begine to give any idea becauyse mine were on 26-27" vacuum with a piston vacuum pump and a releaser.
    Last edited by maple flats; 03-05-2021 at 03:39 PM.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Retired from collecting and boiling in 2021. Mostly because of a bad hip.
    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
    website: www.cnymaple.com

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