Tapping & Tubing


Fix lines with fittings and a tool, not tape

Peter Gregg | March 11, 2021

SALEM, N.Y.—Just say no to tape.

Experts advise the best way to fix leaks on a pipeline system is with a tool and a fitting, not black electric tape.

“It is fine as a temporary fix, but WAY better to do it right and cut out the leak and put in a fitting,” said Dr. Tim Perkins of the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill Center, Vt. MORE ]


Fast! Lapierre touting new mainline FlexClip fitting, installs in less than 30 seconds

Peter Gregg | November 26, 2020

DANBY, Vt.—Lapierre Equipment is touting its new FlexClip mainline entrance fitting designed to be fast, easy and fun to install.

It’s the latest industry offering in the race to create leak proof saddles.

“We claim it’s the fastest install on the market,” said designer Jean Francois (Jeff) Goulet, research and development man at the company, along with company founder Donald Lapierre and son Carl Lapierre. “You just click, screw and drill.”

The black nylon fitting features a pre-stuck-on gasket that secures and self-aligns tight to the pipe. MORE ]


Sugarmaker shares experiences with 3/16 sanitation

Art Krueger | September 3, 2020

SHREWSBURY, Vt.—My family’s sugarhouse finally made some significant breakthroughs using 3/16 tubing.

We managed to completely empty our woodshed of 30 cords and needed to scrounge several cords more to finish up. Certainly a measure of success since, after all, emptying the woodshed is the real objective.

Additionally, we’ve had our best year ever reversing the disappointing trend of the past several years.

We’ve even had to sell over 5000 gallons of sap to a neighbor as we were not able to boil it down fast enough.


Avoid stained wood when tapping

Peter Gregg | August 6, 2020

NEW CASTLE, Ind.—Sugarmakers are encouraged to use longer drops, shallower tapholes and spend more time looking for good tapping surface when they begin tapping for the 2021 season.

That's the message from University of Vermont Extension maple specialist Mark Isselhardt when he spoke to Indiana producers during the annual meeting of the Indiana Maple Syrup Producers Association in New Castle, Ind. last winter.

“You will get 75 percent less sap if you tap into stained wood,” Isselhardt said.

Indiana sugarmakers who tend to use sap bags or buckets rather than pipeline in their flat woods are better suited to spend time seeing how each tree is producing.

“On buckets you know what each tree is doing whereas on tubing it all blends,” he said. MORE ]


Sugarmaker shares experiences with 3/16 tubing sanitation

Brandon Daniels, CDL West Virginia & Virginia | July 22, 2020

DAWSON, W.V.—There has been much discussion and some research given to 3/16” and the reduction in flows that most see after the first season.

The information in this article will not be referred to as research, but it will be presented to help maximize your production on 3/16” tubing in seasons two through ten.

Before we jump into that, I will provide a little more information on our facilities and my background.

I started producing maple syrup over thirty years ago with a 2x3 stainless pan in the back yard and ten taps as a young teenager.
This has grown to a modern state of the art operation.

I am running 2,400 taps +/- 10 on 3/16” tubing in five different areas. These taps run into round bottom stainless tanks produced for maple sap.

In all of the areas we have taps, they are within approximately 1.5 miles of each other.

In all five of these locations, there are taps on slopes that face more than one direction and on the 2,400 taps, we have taps that face every direction on the compass. MORE ]


Sapline and spout recycling program in Northern Vermont

Richard Backer, Northwest Vermont Solid Waste District | May 26, 2020

GEORGIA, Vt.—Sugarmakers can recycle old tubing this spring instead of throwing it out with the trash.

The Northwest Vermont Solid Waste District (NWSWD) operates a small Material Recovery Facility (MRF) located at its administrative office adjacent to the Interstate 89 - Exit 18 interchange in Georgia, Vt.

The district is a municipally chartered organization fully serving 19 towns in Grand Isle and Franklin counties. NWSWD has an ongoing modest program to recover and recycle HDPE sapline.

Small and large syrup producers and county associations are encouraged to call NWSWD with inquiries or questions on recovery and recycling HDPE sapline.

Please call NWSWD at 802.524.5986.

If the sapline is clean, without contaminate plastics including spouts, tees or PVC we will take tubing from anyone in the state.

Sugarmakers in other states are welcome to bring their tubing to us as well, as long as it's clean.


Vermont sugaring experts offer tapping tips

Peter Gregg | March 3, 2020

UNDERHILL CENTER, Vt.—Town Meeting Day in Vermont, this year March 3, has traditionally been the day sugarmakers get back in the woods to start tapping.

While that old adage is not as true as it once was, with most bigger operations tapping in January or February, many sugarmakers will be out drilling this week in Vermont and across the U.S. Maple Belt.

Meanwhile, industry experts from Vermont were on the pre-season meeting circuit this winter touting good tapping practices.

“Proper tapping is critical,” said Dr. Timothy Perkins, director of the Proctor Maple Research Center as part of the University of Vermont.


UVM compares 3/16” and 5/16” tubing sanitation

T.D. Perkins and A.K. van den Berg, University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center | January 3, 2020

UNDERHILL, Vt.—It is well recognized that microbial contamination of tubing systems can result in a substantial loss in sap yield if untreated.

Over a decade of research and maple industry experience has produced a range of possible strategies to address sanitation-related issues in 5/16” tubing systems (Perkins et. al. 2019).

Although rapidly adopted by many maple producers, due to the relatively short time period in which it has been in widespread use, there is far less understanding of sanitation in 3/16” tubing systems (Wilmot 2018).

To address this knowledge deficit, we conducted a multi-year study at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center to examine sanitation-related losses in 3/16” tubing systems to determine which approach(es) might best mitigate sap losses due to sanitation. MORE ]