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How Do Grease Traps and Interceptors Work?

Grease trapNearly every restaurant works with a variety of greasy, messy foods. Whether it's chicken, beef or other fat and oil producers, there has to be somewhere for this waste to go. Grease traps for commercial kitchens keep grease from going into the sewer system and prevent drain lines from becoming clogged with solidified grease. It's important for restaurant and commercial kitchen managers to understand how grease traps and interceptors work in order to use them effectively and keep them in working order.

Know the difference

When researching grease traps and interceptors, it's first necessary to detail how these fixtures are different and to identify which one is being used within your business. According to the Uniform Plumbing Code, the main contrast comes in the flow rate that the device is able to handle. A grease trap requires a flow rate of less than 50 gallons per minute, while grease interceptors can manage rates above this level. These fixtures have the same purpose but they work on different scales. It's important to determine your waste water and grease demand to ensure you have the right size fixture to do the job.

What they do

Ultimately, grease traps and interceptors work in the same way. The fixture slows down the flow of the greasy water heading into the drains and allows it to cool. The grease, fat and oil separate from the water and float to the top of the grease trap, while the remaining displaced grey water is allowed to flow onward through a drain near the bottom of the grease trap then down the drainpipe into the sewer. The grease remaining behind and floating on top of the grease trap, solidifies and will eventually need to be pumped out by a pumping/disposal service provider. Many Roto-Rooter locations provide this service but not all. Be sure to check with your local Roto-Rooter location to find out for sure.

Grease traps and interceptors are important because sewer collection systems and treatment plants simply aren't designed to handle heavy concentrations of grease, fat and oils. If grease gets by grease traps and makes its way into the sewer system, it can form blockages and cause major backups. With a grease interceptor or trap, commercial kitchens can rest assured that their plumbing systems will be in top working order.

Clean often

To keep your grease traps and interceptors working, it's important to clean them on a regular basis. While there are some maintenance approaches that you can do on your own, most require a plumbing professional that provides pumping services to do the job. It's important to clean out your fixtures to prevent backflow, clogs and odors from emerging. A plumbing company like Roto-Rooter has the tools, skills and expertise required to effectively pump out a grease trap for commercial kitchens and ensure that the grease trap is working properly.

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