How Does a Grease Trap Work in a Commercial Kitchen?

May 9th, 2021 |  Categories Blog
Kitchen sink drain

Grease traps are devices that your kitchen wastewater flows through on the way to the sewer. These devices separate grease and other fatty waste from the water before it can reach the sewer. At SeQuential, we pride ourselves on providing commercial businesses with excellent grease trap services. Here, we discuss the ins and outs of grease traps and how they work.

The Function of Grease Traps

Grease traps work on the basis that FOG(fats, oils, and grease) are 10 to 15 percent less dense than water, and grease and water do not mix well. Thus, FOG float on top of the water. When wastewater enters a grease trap, the flow rate is reduced enough so the wastewater is given enough time to cool and separate into three layers. The grease rises to the top inside the interceptor and is trapped using a system of baffles. Solids settle at the bottom and the separated clear water escapes under an outlet baffle. Many grease traps also have strainers for collecting solid debris, which reduces the number of solids that settle at the bottom of the trap.

Different Types of Grease Traps

Installing the right grease trap or interceptor is important to avoid any long-term problems. The type you choose will depend on the amount of FOG waste your kitchen produces. Different types of grease traps include:

  • Hydromechanical grease traps: Smaller in size, these grease traps are usually found in fixtures or close to the point of use. These grease traps use a series of baffles to collect the grease and prevent it from flowing from one end of the system to another. Once the grease cools, it will accumulate at the top of the trap above the water, allowing a professional to clean it out.
  • Gravity grease traps: These grease traps are large and typically found outside or underground. As the name suggests, they use gravity to drain water and are recommended for large restaurants. These traps require grease waste to be pumped out into a truck and hauled away.
  • Automatic grease removal units: This type of grease trap uses a blade to remove the grease and guide it to a separate container automatically.

How Often Should My Grease Trap Be Cleaned?

Grease devices fill up fast, so you must have a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. As the grease trap fills up, it becomes less effective at preventing grease from getting into your pipes. It’s best to have your grease trap cleaned regularly. The frequency often depends on the size of our trap and the amount of grease you produce in your kitchen. You can get a rough idea of the grease amount by checking your trap every day for a week and seeing how quickly the grease builds up.

Since a commercial kitchen produces so much grease waste, almost every town or city has a fats, oils, and grease (FOG) program and guidelines. Inspections are often carried out to ensure businesses are maintaining their grease control devices.

Grease Trap Services for You

SeQuential offers expert grease trap services to commercial businesses across the West Coast, including the areas of Portland, Oregon, and South El Monte, California. Businesses that may require a grease trap system include:

  • Restaurant
  • Bakeries and cafes
  • Shopping centers with food outlets
  • Schools and colleges
  • Catering companies
  • Food manufacturing facilities
  • Pubs, bars, and taverns

To learn more about how a grease trap works and the grease trap services we can provide you, contact us today.