What Is a Grease Trap?

D1-2015Kitchens tend to be quite greasy which is where grease traps come into the equation. These devices are used to trap grease before it has a chance to enter the properties chief waste system and sewer systems. They are essentially a counterpart to the adjoined plumbing equipment and act as a type of receptacle. Wastewater from the kitchen flows through a grease trap which then catches the grease and separates the two.

More about Grease

Grease is formed from oil, additives and thickener. It’s most commonly seen as the by-product of cooking but it can also be used as a lubricant. Water and grease do not mix well together. Water molecules are polar, meaning that they have both a positive and negative charge at opposite ends. Grease on the other hand, is made up of non-polar particles that do not have a charge on either end of the molecules, because of this they are unable to mix well together.

Grease is around 15% less dense than water and because it doesn’t integrate or mix with water, it tends to rise to the surface within the trap. This means that grease accumulates from the top down so that the “grease free” water can exit through the bottom of the trap.

Types of Grease Traps

There are various types of grease traps found in food service establishments so how do you know which type is right for your premises?

GRUgrease_trapsLet’s take a look at the three most common types of grease traps:

Automatic Grease Trap – this is a type of under sink grease removal device. It is compact and simple to use and install. It effectively traps grease, food waste and other fats with a highly efficient skimming regime. This type of automatic device can connect with combi ovens, pre-rinse sinks and pot wash sinks. They require little ongoing maintenance.

Manual Range – manual grease traps are made from stainless steel and eliminate the possibility of grease accessing pipes. Any wastewater is taken through the inlet of the grease trap where it will run through a removable strainer basket which is used to filter the water and collect solid debris.

Food Range – these are specifically designed grease traps which are used with food preparation sinks and meat counters, for example. They come with a filter basket which can be removed, similar to the classic manual grease trap.

Grease Trap Maintenance

Once a grease trap has reached its maximum filling capacity, separation of grease no longer occurs properly and the grease trap cannot operate as well as it should. The cleaning frequency for grease traps and interceptors largely depend on the amount of accumulated grease, fat and oils that has built up within the device.