Fat traps (better known as passive grease traps or grease interceptors) are essentially stainless-steel boxes designed to capture, and therefore trap, fats, oils and grease (FOG) before they flow down the drainage network. If the FOG isn’t captured it quickly hardens and sticks to the walls of the pipes, eventually causing the FOG to build-up and block the pipework which can be costly to unblock. Fat traps play an important role in grease management and in this post will give you some info on how fat traps work and some fat traps that are now available on the market, read on!
Fat Traps and FOG Legislation
Due to risk associated with blocked pipes due to poor grease management there is lots of FOG legislation, such as the Water Industry Act 1991 and 1999 which ensures that correct FOG management is a must for food service operators. Caterers not compliant with the legislation can face large fines, with some restaurants receiving fines for blocking sewers and even kitchen closure if FOG waste isn’t managed effectively.
How Does A Fat Trap Work?
Most grease management solutions such as fat traps, grease traps, grease recovery units work on the basis that FOG is up to 15% less dense than water and therefore floats and sits on top of the water. Most fat traps will have food strainers which collects the solid debris and reduces the amount of solids that settle at the bottom of the trap. The grey water then flows through the outlet and out through the drainage network. Over time, the trapped FOG in the central section will begin to build up, and if left to accumulate, can start to escape through the outlet or even back up the inlet. For this reason, the trap must be maintained or serviced on a regular basis. Check out our FOG maintenance and servicing section for more information. We service all types of grease management solutions whether it was installed by us or a competitor.
New Fat Traps and Grease Recovery Units (GRUs)
Automatic grease recovery units, also known as GRUs, use some of the same principles as traditional grease traps and fat traps, but are also fitted with a heater which re-heats and automatically skims out the FOG. The skimmed FOG is then pushed along into a clear, plastic waste oil collector on the front of the unit which the user can easily remove and empty once visibly full.
Similar to fat traps, GRU’s are available in a number of sizes to accommodate the required flowrate. Whilst GRU’s do have a higher initial investment cost, they are much more efficient and have a longer life expectancy and lower running costs. Caterers can also re-sell the collected “yellow grease” to a certified waste oil collector and use this money to off-set the running costs.
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