Industry
Fact-checked
At AboutMechanics, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

What is a Grease Trap?

A grease trap is an essential plumbing device designed to intercept fats, oils, and grease from wastewater before they enter sewage systems. This prevents blockages and environmental damage. Regular maintenance is key to its effectiveness. Wondering how it impacts your home or business? Continue reading to uncover the significance of grease traps in maintaining a clean and efficient waste management system.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A grease trap, sometimes called a grease interceptor, is a piece of restaurant equipment that is required in many regions to keep the sewers functional. It acts as a filter to remove fats and oils from water before it enters the municipal waste system. Since fats and oils can clog a sewer system, the use of a trap ensures that the sewer system runs smoothly. In a commercial kitchen, it treats all of the water coming out of the kitchen.

A properly equipped commercial kitchen usually has multiple sinks at prep stations, an industrial dishwasher, and large sinks for pre-treatment of dishes and other cooking tasks. The floors typically are sloped with central drains, allowing workers to clean the whole kitchen, and it may also have an in-house laundry facility. The combined drainage from all of these sources can be formidable, requiring a very large grease trap to ensure that water will drain smoothly.

Grease traps are required in many restaurants.
Grease traps are required in many restaurants.

A grease trap looks like a large box or barrel spliced into the water drainage line. When the water enters the trap, it cools down, allowing the lighter oil to precipitate out to the top. A series of baffles collect oil and chunks of material while the water sinks to the bottom. An exit pipe at the base of the device allows the treated water to flow out, while the grease remains enclosed on top.

Efficiency will be lost in a restaurant if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly.
Efficiency will be lost in a restaurant if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly.

In order to function properly, a grease trap and its lines must be regularly cleaned and maintained. Staff can empty it by hand, or a company may be hired to pump out the grease. Some use automatic systems to skim out the grease and dump it into a container, but these still need to be periodically broken down and cleaned. All of the baffles of a grease trap should be scrubbed, and the drainage lines should be scoured to remove accumulated grease.

Efficiency will be lost if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly. Ultimately, it can clog, leading to backups of water into the kitchen. A cleaning rotation and log for the trap is usually kept, to ensure that it is kept operating in peak condition. Health inspectors may periodically check it as well, to assure themselves that it is working properly, and that all of the water in the establishment is being treated before draining into the sewer.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a AboutMechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Learn more...

You might also Like

Discussion Comments

taylorsas

Nowadays,some of the regions in China are following the government's guidance to install an automatic grease trap in their own kitchens and restaurants because of the common sewer-clogging problem, and we are actually the provider. We believe that as people are gradually interested in environmental protection, our product can be a great help to make earth a better place.

anon210594

To ensure efficiency of grease trap it should be well-maintained, it's very important in all commercial kitchen to prevent any environmental problem.

UNKing

A Zurn grease trap can have pitch and height adjustments (a more recent innovation) so a restaurant doesn't have to worry about needing a grease trap installation repair - it can be adjusted. When an installation is done well, you'll avoid water pooling around the drain and increase the efficiency of your grease trap.

BBSmith

Cleaning a greasetrap sounds like a totally disgusting job, I'd vote for the automatic system any day! But it certainly is something that needs to be done, any I think that restaurant that doesn't keep this well-maintained should be fined or closed down.

Now that it's been shown that grease can fuel some cars, maybe it will be less of a problem, what do you think? Cooking oil in the car instead of down the drain!

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register:
    • Grease traps are required in many restaurants.
      By: WavebreakmediaMicro
      Grease traps are required in many restaurants.
    • Efficiency will be lost in a restaurant if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly.
      By: CandyBox Images
      Efficiency will be lost in a restaurant if a grease trap is not cleaned regularly.