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Old April 3rd, 2018, 09:40 PM
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Location: Fairfax, VT
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Default Recurring leaks at spouts on 3/16 line

I have a run of 22 taps on 3/16 to a tank 30+ feet below the top tap. Gauge at the top never reads more than 18" or so. Gauge connections are tightly made with teflon tape. All T's and fittings look good. Almost anytime I walk the line during a good sap run, while some drops have a steady flow with an occasional small bubble, I find many with bubbling or empty pockets at the top of the drop line right below the tap. If I rap the taps back in until there is an audible 'squeak' of plastic on wood the bubbles start to move and sap obviously begins flowing, as if I've sealed a leak. The problem is it doesn't seem to last ... I can go out and find the same taps doing it again! Picture of the style tap is below. Are these taps too tapered such that wood expansion/contraction forces them outward? Did I tap too hard to begin with? Should I just try different spouts next year? Anyone else using these? Thanks!
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Old April 8th, 2018, 06:34 AM
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Location: Hinesburg, VT
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Originally Posted by dvnwvt View Post
I have a run of 22 taps on 3/16 to a tank 30+ feet below the top tap. Gauge at the top never reads more than 18" or so. Gauge connections are tightly made with teflon tape. All T's and fittings look good. Almost anytime I walk the line during a good sap run, while some drops have a steady flow with an occasional small bubble, I find many with bubbling or empty pockets at the top of the drop line right below the tap. If I rap the taps back in until there is an audible 'squeak' of plastic on wood the bubbles start to move and sap obviously begins flowing, as if I've sealed a leak. The problem is it doesn't seem to last ... I can go out and find the same taps doing it again! Picture of the style tap is below. Are these taps too tapered such that wood expansion/contraction forces them outward? Did I tap too hard to begin with? Should I just try different spouts next year? Anyone else using these? Thanks!
I've had good luck with the clear poly plastic that leader uses on their check valve spouts.

You have to be very careful to drill perfect tapholes - any slight wobbling when drilling (or when pulling the drill out) can lead to a slightly deformed taphole that you have to tap in too far to begin with and will have to fight for leaks throughout the season.

You could try clear poly spouts next year, the cost difference for 22 of them is basically nothing

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2015:
100 taps on 3/16 gravity (+vacuum?) - hauling sap to nearby producer

2014:
Steam pans on natural gas grill (no rig this year)
34 taps on 3/16 gravity + 1 roadside on a bucket
Hauling most of the excess sap to a bigger producer up the road
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