What Is A Grease Trap? A grease trap is a device designed to prevent fats, oil, or grease from finding its way into the sewer lines. This device is also referred to as a grease recovery device, grease interceptor, or grease converter. It is primarily a plumbing device to extract or collect most forms of greases and solids before they get to the sewer lines.
It is common knowledge that fats, oil, or grease (FOG) will congeal when it becomes cool in the drain pipes and will collect debris and other foreign materials that enter the sewer line with a rise in the risk of causing clogging or slow drains. As a result, it is crucial to install a device to intercept and trap all greases, fats, or oil so that they do not enter the sewer lines.
Why Is A Grease Trap Necessary?
Due to the properties of water and grease, the two items do not mix. Consequently, when grease is washed down the sink or drain, it will, unavoidably, clog pipes over time. And if grease or oil is washed down in hot form, once it cools off, it will re-solidify and cause the same problems. Below are the reasons for installing a grease trap:
1. Prevention of Clogging and Backup
When fats, oil, or grease (FOG) becomes congealed, it will make the pipes clogged very soon, and backup will occur. Everyone knows how scary drain backup can be and the expensive cost of fixing the problem. A grease trap will prevent grease or fats from entering the main sewer; thus, clogging or backup will be avoided.
2. Prevention of Water Treatment Problems
This problem can get to the main sewer and create difficulty for water treatment facilities because grease causes interference with chemicals used to purify wastewater. In the long run, it results in time wastage and increased cost of cleaning the wastewater.
3. The Requirement of the Law
The law stipulates that bigger organizations and corporate companies install a grease trap. Restaurants are one of the outfits that must fit a grease trap.
4. Immediate Action
A grease trap acts fast by trapping grease immediately it is used to maintain the efficiency of the pipes or the overall water system.
5. Benefits the Environment
A grease trap is environmentally friendly because it uses little power. Besides, trapped grease can be recycled to prevent wastage.
Where Are Grease Traps Used?
Restaurants and commercial kitchens are the most common places that must install a grease trap. These businesses or organizations usually produce much waste grease that can get to the drain lines through their cooking equipment, dishwashers, and sinks. If they are not removed, the grease can cause blockage and cause a backup.
It has been discovered that the bulk of sewers backup in the US is caused by grease with an attendant increase in the cost and disruption of the wastewater utility operations. As a result, organizations that generate or use grease in large quantities must act responsibly by having a grease trap installed to prevent these troubles since almost 50% of all sewer overflows resulted from grease blockages.
Maintenance of Grease Traps
Regular cleaning and maintenance of a grease trap are essential to keep drains flowing efficiently without allowing costly backups and disruptions to the smooth running of the business. Consequently, commercial kitchens and restaurants should carry out routine maintenance to prevent grease from getting into the sewer system and cause problems. Here are how to maintain a grease trap:
1. Regular Removal of Accumulated Grease
The fats, oil, or grease that accumulated in the grease trap should be removed regularly. Although how often you will scoop the grease from the grease trap will depend on how active your business is, and you use the trap. Regular removal of grease from the trap will ensure that the grease trap is working optimally and prevent kitchen drains and pipes from clogging.
2. Routine Inspection
Ensure to check the grease trap every three days and clean it immediately the content reveals that the top 30% of the liquid in the trap is grease or greasy water. However, before you start cleaning the grease trap, find out if the surface layer is only liquid.
Collect the grease that accumulates on the top layer into a container or watertight bag. You may not empty the grease trap to clean the grease trap, but you should remove only the semi-solid layer that accumulates on the surface of the wastewater.
4. Clean the Trap
When you are not using the trap or wastewater will not pass through it, make sure you clean the trap. Also, endeavor to clean it thoroughly and prevent leaving any lump of grease as this may cause clogging of the system.
5. Installation of Warning Signs
You should place a warning sign and set up safety barriers around the under-floor and big grease traps when cleaning the trap.
6. Disinfect the Trap
As you clean the grease trap, do not forget to apply a disinfectant to prevent exposure to germs. At any time that you would clean the trap, make sure not many people be around. Also, you should stay away from cleaning the trap and work in the kitchen to prevent contaminated the food being prepared or strong areas.
7. Dispose of Responsibly
The grease trap answer should be sealed tightly and dispose of it and other kitchen items responsibly. Meanwhile, you should not dispose of the grease trap waste to surface channels or toilets. Record maintenance activities in a log book.
8. Train Staff
Organize a training program for your staff and emphasize the importance of removing waste or food solids from plates and pots before washing.
9. Avoid Using Hot Water
The grease trap helps to collect the congealed fats, oil, and grease. Hence, do not pour boiling water into the sink because this will liquefy the grease and force in into the sewer pipes where it will re-solidify and cause clogging.
10. Avoid Connecting High-temperature Dishwashers
Do not connect a high-temperature dishwasher to a grease trap because it can get the grease liquefied and later cause problems.
11. Proper Disposal
Ensure that you dispose of the accumulated grease you collected from your grease trap responsibly according to government-specified means.