Cooking creates a substantial amount of liquid and solid waste, particularly fats, oils, and grease (FOG). Whether you own a 5-star restaurant or small café, managing the output and disposal of FOG—specifically, keeping it out of your drains or sinks—is crucial to keeping your establishment running. FOG solidifies as it cools, which can result in wastewater backups, clogged/damaged pipes, and many other potentially costly issues for your business.
While at home, it’s easy to simply pour FOG into a jar or plastic container, but such management methods are not practical for most commercial kitchens. This is where a grease trap comes in handy.
Also known as a grease interceptor, a grease trap is a plumbing device that serves as an intermediary between your kitchen sink/drains and the main drain line that goes out to the sewer and local waterways. Normally made out of plastic or metal, these devices are specially designed to collect and separate FOG from wastewater.
How Does a Grease Trap Work?
Though there are many different types of grease traps, the basic functionality remains the same. Wastewater, FOG, and solid waste from sinks, floor drains, or dishwashers enter the inlet of the grease trap. As the wastewater enters the trap tank, solid waste will sink to the bottom of the trap.
As the wastewater cools, the FOG will solidify and separate from the water. Since fats, oils, and grease weigh less than water, the cooled FOG will float to the top of the grease trap tank, displacing the wastewater and forcing it through the outlet of the trap into the sewer line.
FOG and solid waste volumes will increase on a daily basis as you use your kitchen. Though the rate at which it increases depends on your establishment, it is still extremely important to have your grease trap regularly pumped and cleaned.
If the amount of FOG in a given grease trap exceeds 25% of your trap’s tank capacity, your trap will cease to collect FOG. Furthermore, if a grease trap becomes too full, it could potentially leak, overflow, or break down, resulting in bigger and more expensive issues.
When cleaned and regularly maintained, grease traps are one of the most effective methods for mitigating the flow of FOG into drain lines. If your grease trap is in need of servicing, call us today to schedule an inspection!