Getting to Know Grease Traps a Little Better

Getting to Know Grease Traps a Little Better

Gilbert McBride No Comment
Home and Garden Tips

The capacity and capabilities of contemporary drainage systems are nothing short of incredible.  To such an extent that most of us are guilty of taking it for granted, when it comes to what we do and do not allow to go down the drain.  Despite the fact that we know exactly what we should be keeping from going down the sink, most of us don’t exactly follow the rules from time to time.

But while modern drainage systems are impressive to say the least, they nonetheless have their limitations.  One of which being the handling of grease in large quantities. Which in the simplest terms boils down to the fact that various types of fats, oils and greases are not in fact liquids at all.  At any kind of ambient temperature, there are solids.  And given the way in which drainage systems are designed to work exclusively with liquids and only very specific degradable solids, grease and drainage systems do not go together very well at all!

All of which means that in any instance when and where there may be an excessive amount of grease to deal with, it may be necessary to install and work with efficient and effective grease traps.

Why Does a Commercial Kitchen Require a Grease Trap?

Perhaps the single most obvious and common example of an environment where a grease trap is of fundamental importance would be a commercial kitchen. The vast majority of commercial kitchens produce extensive amounts of both solid and liquid wastes – a quite extensive proportion of which may comprise oils and greases.  In order to ensure that as much grease as possible is prevented from entering into surrounding drainage systems, appropriate grease traps are called for.

Without grease traps in place, it would only be a matter of time before the facility in question found itself encountering severe and potentially expensive problems. What tends to happen is that on an on-going basis, the amount of liquid grease that may be present in everyday liquid waste is either overlooked or ignored.  While this liquid waste may at a relatively high temperature travel down the sink just fine, it eventually cools, hardens and sticks to the inside surfaces of the pipework. The best-case scenario is restricted drainage speed and reliability, the worst case scenario being dangerous blockages.

The deeper into the drainage system these blockages occur, the more difficult they tend to be to address. And not only difficult, but cripplingly expensive to boot.

Which is precisely where grease traps come into the equation, by capturing as much grease as realistically possible before it is given chance to enter the drainage system.  The grease cools and hardens into grease trap itself, in order to be eventually removed and disposed of accordingly. A functional and well maintained grease trap can massively reduce how much grease is able to continue its journey into subsequent pipework.

How Does a Grease Trap Work?

As for how it all works, it’s actually a relatively simple method which for the most part in most systems relies almost entirely on gravity.  In the simplest of terms, grease traps work by holding onto the liquid as it is disposed of, which may at the time contain liquefied grease at a higher temperature.  The waste is held on to until it cools down, after which it becomes possible to separate the solid particles from the rest of the liquid which can travel through the subsequent drainage system.

Along with removing solidified grease from the waist, grease traps can also be effective in removing larger solid particles in general.  The cooling of the wastewater results in larger particle solids sinking to the bottom and being prevented access to the subsequent drainage system.

There are also many advanced grease traps that rely on electronic and mechanical components to carry out an even more effective and efficient job of removing grease and solid particles from wastewater.  In all instances however, the basic principles in terms of both the purpose of the system and the primary methodology remain largely the same.

Maintenance and Cleaning

It is only possible for any grease trap of any size and specification to do its job properly, if it is cleaned on a regular basis and receives regular professional maintenance.  This is particularly so in the case of a larger and more complex grease traps, though also applies to those of a more modest size. As grease and build-up in general accumulates, the efficiency and performance of the grease trap diminishes accordingly.

As grease traps play pivotal role in both overall hygiene and health and safety alike, it is of critical importance to periodically consult with the professionals and organize the required inspection/maintenance.



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