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The Ultimate Grease Trap Guide

When it comes to cooking, grease is one of the most common waste products generated. While not given as much of a spotlight as other waste products such as sewage and wastewater in the plumbing industry, grease can cause just as many emergency plumbing problems when not properly treated with a liquid waste disposal service.

Thankfully, grease traps are here to assist - although there are a lot of questions that surround them. That’s where our guide comes in - here, we’ll answer some of the most common queries about grease traps and how to best manage them at your property.

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What is a Grease Trap and How Does a Grease Trap Work?

A grease trap - also known as a grease interceptor - is a water-filled concrete, steel, or fibreglass reservoir with a raised outlet and an entrance pipe that is incorporated into wastewater pipework near grease-producing sources such as a commercial kitchen. It’s purpose is to prevent grease from entering a sewer system via a drain or waste pipe and causing major blockages.

When grease is generated - usually from processes such as cooking - it is moved to a grease trap. This can be done manually, or via automatic grease removal units installed on the premises.

As the waste - often a mix of grease and water - enters the grease trap, solid food particles sink to the bottom of the trap, while oil and grease rise to the top.

Inside the box, baffles - small plastic walls in the grease traps that slow water flow - move the water underneath while keeping FOG (fats, oils, and grease) trash out.

The wastewater then sits in the reservoir long enough for as much grease as possible to rise and settle on the top.

Once the oils and greases have been separated from the wastewater and solidified, a liquid waste disposal specialist may remove them and dispose of them correctly.

The water then travels into a second compartment, where it settles for a second time, separating fat and food particles even further. The slightly cleaner effluent is subsequently pumped into the sewer system.

Many modern grease traps also include extra filters or strainers to catch larger particles of food waste or solid fats before they even enter the trap. These extra pieces are determinant on the grease trap installation.

Why are Grease Traps Important?

Grease is something that can cause major problems and clog sewer lines and larger community-wide drainage systems if not caught at the source and correctly disposed of.

Grease traps are one of the ways this is prevented, showing the importance of businesses that generate plenty of grease having them installed.

Cleanliness is another reason to have grease traps installed. When grease is not taken care of, it can lead to an unsanitary kitchen environment.

This means foul smells and unsanitary workspaces - which is a big no-no for food preparation. A grease recovery device like a grease trap makes for a safe waste disposal method so this doesn’t come to pass.

Failure to dispose of grease correctly can also bring the local water authority to your premises and hit you with a big fine for causing a blocked sewage system.

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Why Causes a Blocked Grease Trap and How Do I Prevent It?

The most common cause of a grease trap blockage is a buildup of grease in the trap itself - either in the main compartments or in the incoming or outgoing pipes.

This can lead to an overflow of waste, which in turn causes problems explained above such as bad smells and unclean surfaces.

To prevent this, cleaning of a grease trap is required. Grease traps must be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain their best efficiency and safety.

A grease trap should be emptied when the grease exceeds a certain level of the tank's capacity, so as to avoid overflow. 

Fat deposits can form as a result of improper grease trap disposal maintenance and cleaning, either settling along the interior of the pipe wall or becoming loose and creating clogs and corrosion further down the line.

Grease trap trash can be manually scooped into waterproof containers and disposed of with other household garbage in small grease traps (e.g., those fitted under individual sinks).

Contract a grease trap cleaning and pumping business on a regular basis for large grease traps, such as those used in industrial kitchens and food processing plants.

Book Your Grease Trap Inspection Today

The team here at Tunnel Vision provides a wide range of services that include grease trap cleaning and waste disposal.

We are incredibly thorough and will provide you with an experienced and thorough clean and grease removal while informing you if we find any faults or problems.

Tunnel Vision is dedicated to providing a quality service to all of our clients, every time. Get in touch with us today on 1800 631 799 for any and all liquid waste disposal, pipe relining, and plumbing needs.

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