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Installing a Grease Trap: Tips and Cleaning

installing a grease trap

If you’re running a commercial kitchen or have a big kitchen in your home, you’ll need to install a grease trap to prevent fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from entering your plumbing system. 

It is where a passive hydromechanical grease trap comes into play, as it traps grease and oil in the wastewater and prevents them from clogging up your pipes.

Different types of grease traps are available on the market. It includes indoor grease traps and outdoor grease traps, each with its pros and cons. 

However, installing and maintaining them can be daunting, especially for those who are new to the process.

This post will provide you with some tips on installing a grease trap, as well as how to clean and maintain it. We will also discuss the most common types of grease trap systems, their advantages and disadvantages, and which one might be best for your business. 

Keep reading to learn more about this essential piece of equipment for commercial kitchens.

Understanding Grease Trap

Before we go to the installation guide for a grease trap, let’s first understand what it is.

A grease trap is a device installed in the plumbing system of homes to capture and hold grease, oil, and fat from kitchen wastewater. The trap allows the water to pass through it while the grease and oil are trapped, preventing them from entering the sewer waste system.

Most grease trap systems use gravity to separate the FOG from the water, but some may use other methods like baffles, strainers, or grease interceptors.

If you’re considering installing a grease trap in your home, choose the right size and type based on your needs. Consider the size of your household, the amount of cooking oil and grease used, and the frequency of cooking.

By installing a grease trap, you can prevent plumbing problems and avoid costly repairs caused by clogged pipes. Keeping your grease trap clean and well-maintained is crucial to ensure its proper functioning.

Benefits of Having Grease Trap in Your Home

Having a grease trap installed in your home can provide numerous benefits. Here are some of the top benefits of having a grease trap:

Protects your plumbing systems

Grease traps prevent FOG from entering your plumbing system, which can lead to clogs and backups.

Environmentally friendly

Grease traps are an eco-friendly solution for managing FOG, as they prevent these substances from entering the sewage system and potentially harming the environment.

Reduces odors

Grease traps are equipped with a holding tank vent that helps to reduce unpleasant odors that can come from the buildup of FOG.

Saves money 

By preventing plumbing problems, you can avoid costly repairs caused by clogged pipes.

Grease recovery device

Some grease traps can be equipped with a grease recovery device, which can be used to collect and recycle FOG.

How Does a Grease Interceptor Work?

Since we are talking about grease traps, it’s important to understand how a grease interceptor works. A grease interceptor is a larger version of a grease trap that’s used in commercial kitchens and other facilities with high water usage.

When wastewater enters a grease interceptor, it slows down and allows time for FOG to separate from the water. The FOG then rises to the surface and is trapped in the interceptor while the water is allowed to continue into the water disposal system.

The trapped FOG must be regularly removed and disposed of properly. Without a grease interceptor, FOG can enter the water disposal system and cause serious environmental problems. 

By using a grease interceptor, businesses and homes can protect the environment and avoid costly fines for improper FOG disposal.

Types of Grease Traps

Cleaning grease trap

Gravity Grease Traps

Gravity grease traps use the natural flow of wastewater and gravity to separate FOG from the water. As the wastewater enters the trap, it slows down and allows FOG to rise to the surface, where it can be collected and removed. 

This type of grease trap is best for low to medium volume kitchens.

Automatic Grease Traps

Automatic grease traps use sensors and machinery to regulate wastewater flow and remove FOG from the water. This type of grease trap is best for high volume kitchens with a lot of wastewater.

Passive Grease Traps

Passive grease traps use a combination of gravity and coalescing technology to separate FOG from the water. The FOG rises to the surface and is trapped while the water continues to flow through the trap. 

This grease trap is best for low to medium volume kitchens and is more environmentally friendly than other types of grease traps.

Residential Grease Trap Installation Tips

Installing a grease trap in your home can be tricky, but it’s important to do it properly to ensure it functions correctly.

Here are some tips for residential grease trap installation:

Locate where to install the grease trap

The grease trap should be installed as close to the source of FOG as possible, typically underneath the sink in the kitchen.

Prepare the installation site

The installation site should be free of debris, level, and have adequate drainage. Make sure to clean and dry the area before installation.

Install the grease trap on a level surface

A level surface is essential for the proper operation of the grease trap. It will prevent any water from pooling and clogging the grease trap.

Make sure it meets local codes

It’s important to check with your local building codes so that your grease trap meets all necessary regulations. If unsure, you can call your local government offices for more information.

Connect the grease trap to the sewer line

Proper connection to the sewer line is essential to prevent backups and ensure efficient operation. For example, use primer and cement for ABS piping or thread sealant for metal piping. The same thing applies to the water supply line.

Check for leaks and test

Once installed, check for any leaks and test the grease trap to make sure it’s working. You can use a hose with water to flush it out or use a vacuum pump if the unit is too large for flushing.

What You Need for Grease Trap Cleaning

If you have a kitchen grease trap, cleaning it regularly is important to prevent clogs and maintain the proper functioning of your plumbing system. Before you begin the cleaning process, here are some items you will need:

  • Oil dry to soak up any liquids in the grease trap
  • 2-3 trash can liners to hold the contents of the grease trap
  • A large trash can
  • Proper tools to open the trap
  • Paper towels
  • Wooden dowel for measuring the depth of the grease in the trap
  • Tools for removing contents such as a scraper and scoop
  • Rubber gloves

Once you have gathered all the necessary items, you can begin the cleaning process. Start by making sure the work area is well-prepared and the trash can liners are in place. 

Add some oil dry to the grease trap to soak up any liquids, making transportation easier. From there, you can proceed with removing the contents of the grease trap and disposing of them properly.

The Bottom Line

Installing a grease trap is pretty straightforward. However, the right experience and tools are necessary to make sure it’s done properly. Follow local codes and always double-check for leaks before you finalize the process. Cleaning your grease trap regularly is also essential to ensure that it functions efficiently and effectively.

If you are unsure if you can install grease traps, know that we are here to help. Phoenix Plumbing and Drain plumbers are experts in all things related to plumbing systems including the installation of grease traps. 

Give us a call to get started with your project today!

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