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Thread: How does your 12Volt Vacuum Pump Perform?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mapleton Twp, SW Ontario
    Posts
    361

    Default How does your 12Volt Vacuum Pump Perform?

    I've been battling with how to improve my vacuum level in my remote bush..... Eg... Go with a gas powered vane pump or stick with 12 volt diaphragm pumps, etc...
    I think I've decided to stick with a 12 volt system if I can achieve about 20-25inhg.... (thinking about converting a portable generator to propane and auto start, to charge batteries up when they need it)
    I hear some good things about some different shurflow models... but I'd like to learn about all the options, from your experience....

    I will greatly appreciate your time in responding... (as I'm sure others in the same boat, will as well)
    Thanks in advance

    I would really like to know what you have for a setup and how it performs...

    1. What Specific Pump you are using
    2. Number of taps
    3. If you have a recirc line to pump
    4. Typical vacuum level you can maintain


    I'll Start it off....
    I currently use a cheap amazon single diaphragm pump..
    https://www.amazon.ca/Amarine-Made-P...7286466&sr=8-5
    125 taps
    I do use a recirc line, but difficult to set it for varying sap flows
    Able to achieve about 12-15 inhg put it pulsates a fair bit.
    I have an identical setup on 75 taps and it performs about the same.

    Thanks again
    Last edited by wmick; 04-01-2021 at 03:27 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    421

    Default

    I have two Shurflo setups, both using my Mountain Maple controller systems.

    First one
    Shurflo 4008 pump
    122 taps, 2/3 red maples 1/3 sugar maples,
    No recirculation
    25" consistent vacuum when sap is flowing
    Deep cycle batteries with solar panels; Backup AC battery charger on long extension cord for those cloudy stretches

    Second one
    Shurflo 4008 pump
    85 taps, all red maples
    No recirculation
    19-22" vacuum
    Deep cycle battery with Battery Tender motorcycle trickle charger on long extension cord

    The second system was a bit crankier than the first one on achieving good, steady vacuum unless sap was flowing strong. I attribute the low sap flow to trees being relatively small red maples. It also had vacuum leak issues early on. Tapping dead trees did not help (oops). Any small leak affects vacuum. Next season I am going to experiment with a recirculation line.

    Dave
    Mountain Maple farm
    2021: 260 taps, 70% red maples. Mountain Maple S4 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer and text messaging
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    391

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Biz View Post
    I have two Shurflo setups, both using my Mountain Maple controller systems.
    You did not specify, are these 3/16 or 5/16 lines or some combination running into some size of mainline?
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    320 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house
    CDL hobby 250 RO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    447

    Default

    We currently run 4 Shurflo 4008 pumps at four different locations in our woodlot. All pumps are connected to 100', 3/4" mainlines, with 12 to 15 laterals off each. Each setup has approximately 85 to 100 taps, all on 5/16" laterals. We have been fortunate to have a very tight system (after resolving minor leaks) so we generally pull 20 to 25 inches of vacuum on each pump. All our pumps are 12 volt and are hooked up to 12 volt deep cycle batteries. Prior to this past season, we brought the pumps and batteries in each night to keep the pumps from freezing and to charge the batteries. This past season, thanks to a fellow trader's suggestion, we used two 700 watt propane inverter generators to power battery chargers to keep the batteries fully charged at all times the pumps were running. (Our pumps are located such that we placed a generator between two locations and ran power cords to the battery chargers.) Our reason for continuing to use the batteries rather than connect the chargers directly to the pumps was to have a backup should a generator stop running during the day. The new setup worked great and saved a lot of work. We still bring in the pumps at night if it is going to freeze, but that is very easy because all pumps have banjo style camlock connections to make removal very easy. We also have all our lines setup so that when we remove a pump, we switch a valve and the sap can then flow directly into a storage tank using gravity.
    Gary
    Last edited by MISugarDaddy; 04-01-2021 at 11:42 AM.
    16' X 24' Sugarhouse
    2' X 6' Leader Inferno Arch with Revolution Raised-Flue Pans, Smoky Lake preheater and hood
    Deer Run Maple gas-powered 250 RO
    WesFab 7" filter press
    Kubota 1100 RTV with tracks and 125 gallon tank for transporting sap
    600+ taps on gravity and vacuum
    Very supportive wife who is the best coworker
    http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...ing-Sugarhouse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    421

    Default

    I use all 3/16" lines running into a star fitting.

    Quote Originally Posted by NhShaun View Post
    You did not specify, are these 3/16 or 5/16 lines or some combination running into some size of mainline?
    Mountain Maple farm
    2021: 260 taps, 70% red maples. Mountain Maple S4 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer and text messaging
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    421

    Default

    My controllers have an automated sap bypass valve which purges sap from pump when it turns off. The systems were put out in February and stay outside, unheated, even at single digit temperatures. No freeze damage or lost sap.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by MISugarDaddy View Post
    We currently run 4 Shurflo 4008 pumps at four different locations in our woodlot. All pumps are connected to 100', 3/4" mainlines, with 12 to 15 laterals off each. Each setup has approximately 85 to 100 taps, all on 5/16" laterals. We have been fortunate to have a very tight system (after resolving minor leaks) so we generally pull 20 to 25 inches of vacuum on each pump. All our pumps are 12 volt and are hooked up to 12 volt deep cycle batteries. Prior to this past season, we brought the pumps and batteries in each night to keep the pumps from freezing and to charge the batteries. This past season, thanks to a fellow trader's suggestion, we used two 700 watt propane inverter generators to power battery chargers to keep the batteries fully charged at all times the pumps were running. (Our pumps are located such that we placed a generator between two locations and ran power cords to the battery chargers.) Our reason for continuing to use the batteries rather than connect the chargers directly to the pumps was to have a backup should a generator stop running during the day. The new setup worked great and saved a lot of work. We still bring in the pumps at night if it is going to freeze, but that is very easy because all pumps have banjo style camlock connections to make removal very easy. We also have all our lines setup so that when we remove a pump, we switch a valve and the sap can then flow directly into a storage tank using gravity.
    Gary
    Mountain Maple farm
    2021: 260 taps, 70% red maples. Mountain Maple S4 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer and text messaging
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    River Falls, WI
    Posts
    790

    Default

    I run two 2088s and one 4008. Each has right around 90 taps on them.

    No recirculation lines.

    They pull between 15-22" though this year they seem to be on the lower end more than they used to be. The two 2088s are 3-4 seasons old, and they all run 24/7 during the season, unless it's gonna freeze solid for several days in a row.

    My 270 taps are all on 3/16 with minimal elevation change. A few are even below the pumps. They all run into some short sections of 1" mainline with star and saddle fittings. I have been averaging .6gpt of syrup since I installed this setup and I'm very happy with it. I am sorta considering a pump and releaser setup though, just to be able to overcome leaks better and see how much sap I can get at 25"+.
    Second generation sap rat.

    Started taking over in 2012
    2012-2016: 300 buckets 120 on gravity tubing. Waterloo 2x10 wood fired. Averaged 105 gallons per season.
    2017: hoping for 300 on 3/16 with Shurflo and 50 buckets. New used 4x14 Algier wood fired cooker. 180 gallons of syrup

    2018: 300 on vacuum 2 buckets, finally got a splitter!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Peru, Maine
    Posts
    785

    Default

    This is a good post. I might suggest that the moderators considering making it a "sticky" thread. There are a lot of us smaller producers using these or looking into it and several different configurations so it would be nice to have one thread to look at reviews and information. Here's ours, just started messing with these pumps this year.

    1- 4048 Shurflo, S3 Controller on 145 taps connected to a 1" mainline that branches off to a 3/4" mainline. Total length of 1" mainline is 500' and total length of 3/4" mainline is 300'. 28 laterals (spin seal saddles) and 5/16" tubing. Probably 70/30 sugars to red maples in this area.
    No recirc line
    Only getting 13"-15" of vacuum on a good run. 8"-10" on marginal days. Don't really know why, the woods is tight. We verified by putting vacuum gauges on the end lines. They read the same as the controller does by the pump.
    Deep cycle battery (biggest I could get at auto store), 100 W solar panel. We had to move the solar panel to get the sun best and once we did, we have not change out batteries although we do have a couple spares in case.

    1- 4048 Shurflo, NO controller on 125 taps connected to a 1" mainline that is 100' long. 26 laterals (spin seal saddles), 5/16" tubing.
    Probably 40/60 sugars vs. reds. These trees just haven't run that great this year despite being good in size and along a rock wall by the wall.
    No recirc line
    Only getting 8"-10" on marginal days, with no real good runs like our other bush.
    Another large deep cycle, 100 W solar panel. Gets good sun, battery has yet to drop below 12v after several days of pumping.

    I think we need to try a recirc line or maybe even a 4008 pump. Our issue could also be too much mainline?? I dunno.........

    Should also add that we replaced diaphragms once on each pump so far this season. They were pumping fine and we took them apart (but did not see anything). Only reason we knew they were bad was because the vac at the end of the line was at 0. Note that it was still reading 10" on the controller by the pump but nothing on the end line.
    Last edited by mainebackswoodssyrup; 04-01-2021 at 02:51 PM. Reason: added more info
    270 taps on 2 Shurflo's, 31 taps on 3/16" and 120 taps on gravity. 421 total for 2021 season.
    Mountain Maple S3 controller for 145 of the vacuum taps
    2x6 Darveau Mystique Oil Fired Evaporator w/ Smoky Lake Simplicity Auto Draw
    Wesfab 7” filter press
    IBC totes in the woods, 800 Gallon CDL bulk tank at the shack

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Mapleton Twp, SW Ontario
    Posts
    361

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by motowbrowne View Post
    ..... I am sorta considering a pump and releaser setup though, just to be able to overcome leaks better and see how much sap I can get at 25"+.
    I'm on the same path.. Get the vacuum up.
    Based on this chart... I think it was from one of the proctor studies... It looks pretty linear... To much potential to ignore... I think.

    Attachment 22332

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    River Falls, WI
    Posts
    790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wmick View Post
    I'm on the same path.. Get the vacuum up.
    Based on this chart... I think it was from one of the proctor studies... It looks pretty linear... To much potential to ignore... I think.

    Attachment 22332
    I wish I had more potential taps in this woods, but I don't. A pump and releaser setup would be pretty expensive per tap here because of how few taps there could be, but still I'm tempted. I kinda view my 3/16 installation as a stepping stone, not the ultimate solution.
    Second generation sap rat.

    Started taking over in 2012
    2012-2016: 300 buckets 120 on gravity tubing. Waterloo 2x10 wood fired. Averaged 105 gallons per season.
    2017: hoping for 300 on 3/16 with Shurflo and 50 buckets. New used 4x14 Algier wood fired cooker. 180 gallons of syrup

    2018: 300 on vacuum 2 buckets, finally got a splitter!

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