Should You Get a Grease Trap for Your Home?

kitchen splashback

A grease trap is a receptacle that collects kitchen wastewater and reduces the fats, oils, and greases (FOGs) before it enters the main sewer system. It is also called the grease interceptor since it is used to intercept, capture, or trap grease, food particles, and other organic materials to prevent drain blockage, foul odors, and potential pest infestation.

Since the Victorian era, grease traps or boxes are placed within sinks and kitchen appliances. They are designed only for kitchen wastewater and should never be used in other drainage sources, such as toilets and bathrooms. Materials used for the grease traps include stainless steel, mild steel, plastic, and concrete, among others. Usually, commercially available models contain from 40 up to 45,000 liters capacity and above.

In almost every town or city in the country, the local health department requires a working grease trap that should be cleaned regularly. These can be installed above ground, below ground, inside the kitchen, or outside the establishment. This is necessary for the restaurant industry or industrial kitchens to function safely, as well as for the residential kitchen you have in your Bria Homes house and lot or condominium unit.

How do grease traps work?

The principle that FOGs float on water and solid particles sink is the basic explanation of how grease traps work. The slow inflow of wastewater from the kitchen sink to the trap allows a settlement period that separates oils and food particles for the cleaner water to flow through. The retained waste can build up over time and this would require removal and regular cleaning.

High-viscosity fats, like cooking oil or lard, tend to solidify when they get cold. Other disposed solids can combine with it as well as large amounts of oil will become a potential blockage problem that would result in the inability to dispose of solids in the septic tank system. If your grease trap is working, the most important substances to keep out of the pipes or the FOGs is collected in time and major plumbing problems are avoided.

Where to get a grease trap?

Have your grease traps installed by a general plumbing contractor or company with knowledge and experience on internal or external grease traps. They will be able to determine the right grease trap for each kitchen in your commercial space or other real estate property.

Make sure to get the properly sized grease trap, since a grease trap that is too small will be inefficient and one that is too large accumulates materials that becomes smelly over time. The following are the two types of grease traps that will help you achieve an efficient grease management system.

1.  Small point-of-use systems – The most common grease traps are the ones that can be attached underneath the kitchen sink or adjacent to the dishwasher. They restrict the wastewater flow and remove up to 85-90% of food particles and FOGs. Typically, they work with grease trap liners, which provides increased safety and hygiene benefit.

2.  Large in-ground tank – Commonly known as a gravity interceptor, consisting of either concrete, fiberglass, or steel. It has a large capacity of up to 2000 gallons for high flow, usually used in a restaurant or hospital. When the water and grease flow into the system, these interceptors will pump the grease-free water out of the tank and will leave behind waste that must be pumped out on a regular basis, similar to a septic tank system.

What are the advantages of using grease traps?

FOGs and clogs are OUT

On average, a grease trap will retain 50 to 90% of the FOGs that enter it. The effectiveness of a grease trap will depend on factors, including design, size, location, drainage system, and kitchen practices. To increase its effectiveness, two or more units can be used, or a single grease trap can be supported with a biological grease dosing system or the use of bacteria to break FOGs down.

Grease traps are IN

Grease traps minimize expensive maintenance or the high cost of replacing a septic system. Additionally, fines are imposed by the government on public sewage to ensure that commercial establishments will follow regulations. Meanwhile, keeping the FOGs out of the sewer system will not only keep your own Bria Homes sanitary but also the environment surrounding it.

How to clean a grease trap?

Take note: Do not clean the grease trap on your own and let a professional do it. You wouldn’t want to end up with an open grease trap that suddenly stops working. Aside from the foul odor, it may cause worse problems to your water and drainage system. It is advisable to hire professionals that know how to handle, clean, and repair parts within the system.

Having a clean grease trap every month or no less than every three months is optimum. The common threshold is also called the one-fourth rule, wherein you need to empty your grease trap when it is one-fourth full of FOGs. At this point, the grease trap is no longer effective.

Monitor how quickly the trap fills up so you can know when it needs to be emptied. If having it cleaned every three months would not be possible, here are some best practices you should follow to keep your grease trap cleaner for longer:

  • Clean your kitchen drain regularly to keep the bad odors away. According to Better Home & Gardens, it is recommended that you pour one part of baking soda and two parts of white vinegar down the drain, wherein a white bubbling may occur. Soak it for around 15 minutes and wash it down with hot water.  
  • Scrape off the extra food on your plates before washing them in the sink. Make sure that any large chunks are removed to limit the amount of waste the grease strap has to collect.
  • Pouring used cooking oil down the drain may lead to damaged pipes. Therefore, practice proper disposal or recycle your cooking oil and turn it into sustainable biofuel, if possible.
  • Minimize the use of chlorine products because chemicals can destroy the beneficial bacteria and liquefy FOGs inside the trap, reducing its effectiveness. Only biodegradable detergents should be used.
  • Grease trap cleaning is done by a licensed contractor or professional company. For restaurant owners, you can schedule a weekly or monthly grease trap cleaning service to ensure safety and sanitation. The factors to be considered are the grease trap size, the restaurant’s seating capacity, and the type of business or cooking techniques used.

Whether small or large, the kitchen is known to be the “heart of the home.” Recently, in July 2022, Bria Homes launched the Bettina Prime, which is the newest affordable house and lot model with a floor area of 44 square meters on a 72 square meter lot. It features a bigger living area, a spacious dining area, and a roomier kitchen. Bettina Prime’s expandable living space is best suited for young married couples, professionals, and entrepreneurs that can turn their food hobby into a business.

Are you looking for a pre-selling and rent-to-own house and lot or condominium for sale? Visit our official website and Facebook page to inquire about Bria Homes’ projects nationwide. 

Written by Gianne D. Inumerable