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Thread: Help with vacuum set-up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Manitoulin island
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    Default Help with vacuum set-up

    Greetings. I'm thinking of installing a vacuum system. Objective is additional sap and having sap brought to sugar shack. We currently have 350 taps on gravity and haul sap with a 250g tote. We have a hydro service in the building it is a former milkhouse for a dairy farm.

    Maple bush is about 900' across pasture. I would like to have releaser and vacuum pump in the building and bury line across pasture to bush. Would like to size system for 1000 taps to allow for some growth. Thinking of 11/4" dry line and 1" wet line but that is yet to be determined.

    My question is how to handle coming out of ground at sugar house end? Thought is maybe getting a couple well casings and having releaser in the bottom where lines enter. Looking for suggestions. Going to add a piece to the end of the building this summer so could dig in some sort of line entry then.

    Second is when we come out of the ground at the bush how do we handle the transition. We are on a limestone ridge old shoreline and loose soil depth as we enter the bush so will need to come out of the ground I think.

    I will attach a screen shot from Google Earth.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Williston, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandviewpeter View Post
    Greetings. I'm thinking of installing a vacuum system. Objective is additional sap and having sap brought to sugar shack. We currently have 350 taps on gravity and haul sap with a 250g tote. We have a hydro service in the building it is a former milkhouse for a dairy farm.

    Maple bush is about 900' across pasture. I would like to have releaser and vacuum pump in the building and bury line across pasture to bush. Would like to size system for 1000 taps to allow for some growth. Thinking of 11/4" dry line and 1" wet line but that is yet to be determined.

    My question is how to handle coming out of ground at sugar house end? Thought is maybe getting a couple well casings and having releaser in the bottom where lines enter. Looking for suggestions. Going to add a piece to the end of the building this summer so could dig in some sort of line entry then.

    Second is when we come out of the ground at the bush how do we handle the transition. We are on a limestone ridge old shoreline and loose soil depth as we enter the bush so will need to come out of the ground I think.

    I will attach a screen shot from Google Earth.

    I am a civil engineer, work in heavy construction, and been involved in underground utilities and structures of all types. But I haven't done any significant buried sap lines primarily because my sugarbush is very rocky with shallow bedrock.

    Despite my lack of experience with sap lines, I'd like to offer the following thoughts:

    - Obviously must have overall pitch towards your outlet end. Best to have continuous downward slope - it will work much better.
    - Frost protection should be considered for the entire run.
    - At the outlet/inlet ends, I think it would work best to run the lines through a short section of culvert and a headwall. The headwall allows for frost protection until the lines daylight.
    - Protect the lines in the exposed areas from your mower.

    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  3. #3
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    Bristol, VT
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    If you have perfect sustained slope to the releaser in the sugarhouse you may be able to make this work well but if your map and cross section are accurate that may not be the case. You should start by figuring out what your woods layout will need for total CFM for all the mainline and tubing/taps for your ultimate number of taps. That will ultimately determine how much CFM you'll need to transfer across the pasture and what size lines to bury if you go that route.

    I think it is also worth consider running power across the pasture in addition to a 1-1/4" pump line and instead of having your vacuum pump and releaser at the sugarhouse, place a vacuum pump and electric releaser at the woods and pump back to the sugarhouse from there through the buried line. Could use a mechanical releaser and a tank as well and pump from the tank but an electric release is likely cheaper and easier.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  4. #4
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    Jan 2017
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    Williston, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralStark View Post
    If you have perfect sustained slope to the releaser in the sugarhouse you may be able to make this work well but if your map and cross section are accurate that may not be the case. You should start by figuring out what your woods layout will need for total CFM for all the mainline and tubing/taps for your ultimate number of taps. That will ultimately determine how much CFM you'll need to transfer across the pasture and what size lines to bury if you go that route.

    I think it is also worth consider running power across the pasture in addition to a 1-1/4" pump line and instead of having your vacuum pump and releaser at the sugarhouse, place a vacuum pump and electric releaser at the woods and pump back to the sugarhouse from there through the buried line. Could use a mechanical releaser and a tank as well and pump from the tank but an electric release is likely cheaper and easier.

    I'm not sure I follow your logic here General Stark. I agree with the perfect sustained slope for the pipes but I don't understand why you think it can't be achieved. Now - I am assuming that the ground slopes upward towards the woods which isn't that clear from the image. But if the ground slopes towards the sugarhouse then it's completely possible, however, it might not make economic sense, particularly if you need to trench deep in areas, encounter boulders or bedrock, or don't have the the ability to self perform the work.

    I also think a remote electric releaser would likely require a transfer tank and pump with float switches in addition to a heated building for everything. Direct discharge from the releaser to the raw sap tank would require either a continuous gravity flow, or special measures to protect the pump line from freezing. Then he'll need to figure out some fairly serious power demands at 900 feet away which might require a transformer at each end.

    Ken
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by islandviewpeter View Post
    Greetings. I'm thinking of installing a vacuum system. Objective is additional sap and having sap brought to sugar shack. We currently have 350 taps on gravity and haul sap with a 250g tote. We have a hydro service in the building it is a former milkhouse for a dairy farm.

    Maple bush is about 900' across pasture. I would like to have releaser and vacuum pump in the building and bury line across pasture to bush. Would like to size system for 1000 taps to allow for some growth. Thinking of 11/4" dry line and 1" wet line but that is yet to be determined.

    My question is how to handle coming out of ground at sugar house end? Thought is maybe getting a couple well casings and having releaser in the bottom where lines enter. Looking for suggestions. Going to add a piece to the end of the building this summer so could dig in some sort of line entry then.

    Second is when we come out of the ground at the bush how do we handle the transition. We are on a limestone ridge old shoreline and loose soil depth as we enter the bush so will need to come out of the ground I think.

    I will attach a screen shot from Google Earth.
    Sorry - it looks like I missed the second part of the question about the outlet end at the sugarhouse. I like your idea of well casings which is similar to my system. I have a 60" diameter culvert standing up out the ground. The key is that your releaser wet/dry line intake needs to be on that continuous slope line from the upper woods for best performance. Therefore it could be pretty deep at the sugarhouse. Then you need to use the releaser pump to lift it up to your raw sap tank without freezing.

    PXL_20210304_223144174.jpg

    PXL_20210314_213633296.jpg
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,941

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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    I'm not sure I follow your logic here General Stark. I agree with the perfect sustained slope for the pipes but I don't understand why you think it can't be achieved.

    Ken
    The concept of having a releaser below grade in a well casing at the sugarhouse could work if a downward sustained slope can be achieved from the woods to the releaser. The cross section shown with the included map suggests that may not be the case and it is difficult to determine from the information provided what may be the actual situation. The OP mentions burying the lines through the pasture so maintaining a downhill slope to the releaser underground would be a challenge if the slope is not consistently downhill. And then there is the fact that the releaser would need to be below grade ... How deep do you really want to have to dig? And how are you going to pump the sap out of the well casing?

    If the OP wants to provide more detailed info. then perhaps we can provide some more detailed "logic" but until then it's all just throwing ideas out there...

    Running power 900' is certainly not prohibitive for a vac. pump and a releaser, especially if you are considering burying pipe at a consistent slope and may require several runs of large diameter pipe. Plenty of folks run power long distances as it can be cheaper than pipe...
    Last edited by GeneralStark; 04-20-2021 at 09:01 PM.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
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    So here's some more information on how to make the sugarhouse side work with the "well casing" concept. This photo shows how I'm configured with my "culvert" pumphouse (barely visible on the far right). Notice the black lines coming out near the top. The tight one is the pump out line to the raw sap tank. The other is vacuum from the pump in the orange conex box. The raw sap tank is under the lean-to roof behind the sugarhouse.

    PXL_20210318_161306019 (1).jpg

    Here's some details:

    - The idea is for it to be heated to above freezing on the colder days to prevent a freezing problem. This is the first year and I didn't get it weathertight yet.
    - The pump out line from the releaser runs up to the top of the heated structure and turns with a 90 at the top. From within the structure it pitches downward to the rap sap tank.
    - The culvert section is a 20 footer with about 8 ft in the ground and the lines come in about 3 ft above the bottom (I have a vertical releaser). The ground slopes down and way from the backside of my sugarhouse so my excavation was minimal and the lines come in above grade at the lower area.

    I think a big issue with a "well casing" is to have a diameter sufficient to access. I wouldn't want less than my 60" diameter.

    I hope this is helpful.


    Ken
    Last edited by TapTapTap; 04-21-2021 at 05:26 AM.
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    348

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralStark View Post
    The concept of having a releaser below grade in a well casing at the sugarhouse could work if a downward sustained slope can be achieved from the woods to the releaser. The cross section shown with the included map suggests that may not be the case and it is difficult to determine from the information provided what may be the actual situation. The OP mentions burying the lines through the pasture so maintaining a downhill slope to the releaser underground would be a challenge if the slope is not consistently downhill. And then there is the fact that the releaser would need to be below grade ... How deep do you really want to have to dig? And how are you going to pump the sap out of the well casing?

    If the OP wants to provide more detailed info. then perhaps we can provide some more detailed "logic" but until then it's all just throwing ideas out there...

    Running power 900' is certainly not prohibitive for a vac. pump and a releaser, especially if you are considering burying pipe at a consistent slope and may require several runs of large diameter pipe. Plenty of folks run power long distances as it can be cheaper than pipe...
    I'm still confused by your statement that a consistent downward slope is so challenging. Again - I'm assuming that the ground is sloped downward towards the sugarhouse, otherwise it is extremely challenging and beyond practical. However, if the profile shown is downward towards the sugarhouse with enough overall elevation drop then it should be very possible. And I'm typically very skeptical of underground for sap line for reasons I posted earlier. I also think that holding a constant downward pitch on sap lines on a shallow slope is very challenging even above ground so buried lines is no simple task and you don't get another chance to adjust them.

    I'd also recommend that the OP survey the proposed alignment as a next step. From that information they can decide whether underground is a practical solution. If its available, I'd be looking for about at least 5% average slope for the lines to make it easier to install. Then they'd have a little flexibility to go shallower in areas where the depth becomes challenging.

    Ken
    Last edited by TapTapTap; 04-21-2021 at 05:52 AM.
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Manitoulin island
    Posts
    39

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    Thanks for the input so far. There is 20' of fall from top corner of pasture to Syrup House. So 2.2% slope, but there are dips and humps as you cross the field so the necessity to plan a route that would avoid high spots and miss low spots. All the land slopes to the lake, but we would be crossing the slope on an angle.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2009
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    Bristol, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    Again - I'm assuming that the ground is sloped downward towards the sugarhouse, otherwise it is extremely challenging and beyond practical.

    Ken
    That's my question... Can it be assumed that the OP can achieve a consistent downward slope all the way from the woods to the releaser at the sugarhouse. I don't know ... The cross section attached to the map is difficult to read and there does appear to be a portion of the distance that is not sloping downward to the sugarhouse.

    As you mention, and I agree, it would be practically difficult to maintain consistent slope with buried lines in a trench if the slope the OP is traversing is not consistently down hill.

    I personally would want to bury a wet line, a dry line, and at least one backup line if the slope was consistent and were easy to do the excavation work at the sugarhouse. For that distance and the possibility of 1k taps in the woods that would likely necessitate some larger diameter pipe in the 1-1@1/2 range. The cost of the pipe that would be appropriate to bury may well exceed the cost of wire and one pump out line.

    Just throwing out ideas here...
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

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