Grease traps are important appliances, especially for restaurants. However, any home or business that deals with grease can benefit from having one. Grease is 10-15% less dense than water, meaning it will float. Because of this fact, plumbers install grease traps to keep grease from entering and damaging the pipes. Whether you own a restaurant or not, a grease trap can save any business or homeowner money by keeping the pipes clean. It is important to note that restaurants need grease traps that meet efficiency standards and have the correct capacity.
How Grease Traps Work
● Grease gets trapped by the baffle, which is a plastic wall inside the grease trap that controls the flow of water.
● The tank fills from the top down, allowing grease-free water to be drained into the sewer lines.
● Grease floats to the top of the tank, where it can be emptied.
Why Do You Need a Grease Trap?
● To Avoid Blockages: Grease, especially grease from animals, will eventually solidify. If this occurs in your pipes, they will become blocked and you will need to have a plumber clean the pipes.
● Overflows: If the grease solidifies and causes a blockage, you run the risk of an overflow. Overflows cause a public health risk.
● It Will Save You Money: Blockages, overflows, and backups all cost money to repair. In the case of businesses, these events may lead to fines or even a period of time in which you cannot do business during the repairs.
Types of Grease Traps
● Small Passive Hydromechanical Grease Interceptors (HGIs): HGIs are what most people think of when you think of grease traps. They usually sit in the kitchen in a pit or under a sink. They trap grease over time and, in some cases, need to be pumped at least once a week. HGIs are less expensive initially, but the cost of cleaning will raise the overall cost. It is impossible to avoid this cleaning, as doing so will make the HGI inefficient.
● Gravity Grease Interceptor (GGIs): GGIs typically have a larger than average liquid capacity, but cannot hold very much grease. They need to be pumped every 90 days with special equipment and a truck. This can get very expensive. These traps are placed in the ground, so replacement is also very expensive. They last about 15 years on average, so replacement will be necessary.
● Automatic Grease/Oil Recovery Systems: These devices work similarly to HGIs, but the grease is moved to a separate tank. These traps are expensive up-front, but maintenance costs are much lower because it can usually be done without a plumber.
● High Capacity Hydromechanical Grease Interceptors: Again, these devices are similar to HGIs, but they have a greater grease capacity. They are popular among restaurants who are in nontraditional locations that do not have a lot of space.