Tapping & Tubing

  •  Just say no. Experts advise to fix leaks with a fitting and a tool, not electric tape.

  •  What high vacuum looks like. Experts say leak checks should be made daily to achieve high vacuum of 25 hg or more, getting the most sap.

Fix lines with fittings and a tool, not tape

Experts say high vacuum is achieved with daily checking


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.

Sugarmakers looking to achieve high vacuum and gain the most sap must check lines daily for leaks. 

High vacuum is generally considered 25hg or better.

Dick Beattie, a leak-checker for the Truehart family maple operation in Salem, N.Y. agreed, saying he always goes into the woods with a tool.

“I always carry it with me,” he said.

While some find it clunky and annoying to heft around with in the woods, the tool should be handy when maintaining lines.

“Pros don’t bother with tape because they don’t go into the woods without tools,” Perkins said.