Choosing a Grease Trap for Your Restaurant

Grease Trap Perth (or interceptor) is a kitchen wastewater receptacle that reduces FOG material that drains to the sewer system. Grease traps are required by municipal codes for restaurants and other food service establishments.

The size and location of a restaurant determines what type of grease interceptor it needs. FOG can build up in a clogged grease trap and lead to blockages that require costly repairs.

Grease traps are holding tanks that separate FOG (fats, oils and grease) from the wastewater that enters kitchen drains from sinks, floor drains and dishwashers. The wastewater then exits through an outlet pipe into the city sewer system.

As the wastewater flows into the grease trap, it slows down, allowing the less dense FOG materials to rise to the top while the solid waste settles at the bottom of the trap. This process is accomplished using gravity, baffles and a series of chambers in the grease trap’s design. The more dense water eventually exits the outlet pipe into the sewer system.

Because FOG accumulation is a major contributor to sewage blockages in cities, a growing number of municipalities are mandating that restaurants implement effective FOG management strategies. These include implementing grease traps and having them regularly cleaned and monitored.

A basic manual or passive grease trap uses a series of chambers and gravity to separate FOG from wastewater. As the wastewater enters the trap, it slows down, causing the less dense grease and oils to rise to the top while the solids settle at the bottom of the trap. The cleaner wastewater then exits through an outlet pipe into a nearby sewer system.

Passive grease traps are available in a variety of sizes to accommodate various FOG outputs and are relatively inexpensive to purchase and operate. They do, however, require regular manual cleaning and monitoring to ensure that they remain operational and compliant with regulatory requirements.

An automatic grease interceptor, also known as an AGRU (automatic grease removal unit), works on similar principles to a passive trap but eliminates the need for manual cleaning and monitoring. An AGRU system re-heats and skims FOG on a programmed schedule, transferring it to a collector bin for disposal. This type of grease interceptor is typically more expensive than a passive trap but can have significantly lower operating and maintenance costs over the long term.

Regardless of the type of grease trap you choose, it is essential that you never pour cooking oil or grease directly down any drain or sink. This can cause them to solidify as they travel through pipes, leading to clogs and overflows that damage your plumbing and can impact the city sewer system.

Fats, oils and grease (FOG) that enter a restaurant’s wastewater system can clog plumbing, causing backups or even overflows into local city sewage systems. This is why it’s crucial to have a properly functioning grease interceptor, as a failure to do so can result in fines for the business.

Grease traps work by slowing the flow of wastewater, allowing it to cool and separate into 3 layers; FOG, solids, and clear water. Animal fats and vegetable oils are much less dense than water, so they float to the top of the grease trap while solids sink. The FOG is collected in the grease trap’s “grease mat” while clear water exits through the outlet.

Traditional passive traps are large in-ground tanks made of concrete, fiberglass or steel with a capacity of 500-2,000 US gallons (2,000-8,000 L). They are commonly called gravity interceptors. The rotting brown grease inside the tank must be pumped out on a scheduled basis and sent to landfills. A biological grease remediation treatment system is an alternative to a traditional passive trap. It utilizes a non-pathogenic strain of bacteria and odor control chemicals that eat the suspended fats, oils and grease in the interceptor.

While both types of grease traps are effective at preventing FOG from entering city sewer lines, the key to success lies in proper maintenance. Regular inspections by a qualified service provider, like DAR PRO Solutions, can ensure that the grease trap remains in good working condition and helps prevent costly clogs and backups.

Automatic systems, also known as AGRU’s (automatic grease removal units), use the same principals as passive traps but eliminate the need for manual pumping and monitoring. These units re-heat and skim the FOG on a programmed schedule and transfer the skimmed grease into a collector bin for easy removal and recycling. These units are available in a variety of sizes to meet varying needs and offer lower long term running and maintenance costs than traditional passive traps. In addition to the obvious practical advantages, these units are better equipped to keep FOG levels low in the sewer system, preventing them from contributing to fatbergs and sanitary sewer overflows.

When it comes to choosing a grease trap for your restaurant, you need one that will be able to keep up with your kitchen’s FOG production and avoid overflows. For this reason, many experts recommend selecting a model with a maximum capacity of about 500 gallons. It should also be easy to clean and have a removable filter basket. The best grease traps are made of non-corrosive materials, such as polyethylene or fiberglass. In addition, they should be equipped with a built-in grease monitor to help keep grease levels under control.

There is no single rule of thumb for determining how often you should clean your grease trap, as it depends on kitchen size and type. However, a few key tips for preventing an overfull grease trap include limiting solid food waste, rinsing greasy dishes with cold water, and using biodegradable dishwashing detergents. A proactive maintenance plan can also help you avoid overflows and keep your restaurant in compliance with local grease ordinances.

Grease interceptors and grease traps are designed to separate fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from other kitchen liquids like water and food scraps. The best designs take advantage of the natural tendency of these oils and fats to rise while other food waste sinks. They have a tube that dips below the surface of the water to pull out liquid FOG and separate it from other sludge and food waste.

Unfortunately, even the best grease traps can get clogged. This can lead to costly repairs and downtime. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid these problems, including training your staff on the causes of grease trap clogs and how to prevent them.

Aside from regular cleaning, the most important thing to do to reduce the risk of a grease trap clog is to use an effective FOG control product. A product like BioOne is an all-natural, food-safe product that is specially formulated to degrade FOG in your grease trap or pit. This process liquefies the FOG and transforms it into water and carbon dioxide that can flow freely through your sewer line.

The size and type of grease interceptor you choose will determine the upfront cost. However, installing a grease interceptor will reduce the amount of grease that enters your sewer system, which saves you money on maintenance costs and prevents costly pipe repairs down the road. Thermaco offers several different grease interceptors to meet your specific needs and budget, from small passive systems to large hydro-mechanical units.

In addition, the installation location of a grease trap will influence your overall costs. Ideally, you should install the grease interceptor as close to your kitchen’s drains as possible. This will minimize the distance that the FOG has to travel, allowing the grease to cool more quickly and separate from the wastewater.

Another factor to consider when determining the cost of a grease interceptor is the frequency of pumping and cleaning services needed. If a grease interceptor is not pumped at the correct frequency, it will become overloaded with FOG waste and unable to function properly. This will result in a reduced flow capacity, clogged inlets and outlets, and frequent odors.

If you are considering a hydro-mechanical grease interceptor, you will also want to consider the GPM rating of the unit. This will affect how much wastewater it can handle, which in turn will influence how often the trap will need to be emptied and cleaned.

Grease interceptors should be drained and pumped on a regular basis to ensure that they are operating efficiently, meet government regulations, and protect sewer lines and septic systems from fats, oils, and grease (FOGS) buildup. By keeping a schedule for regular pumping and cleaning, you can prevent costly and time-consuming blockages in your plumbing system.

By taking the time to understand what a grease interceptor is, how it works, and the different types of grease interceptors available on the market, you can make an informed decision that will be the best fit for your food service establishment. By choosing the right interceptor, you will not have to worry about overflows or surprise expenses and can focus your attention on creating a great customer experience.