Whether you’re starting a new restaurant, overhauling an old, or just replacing your machinery, one thing is certain: you need a grease trap or grease interceptor for your business. This is more than just common sense on the maintenance of your pipes: it’s required by your local laws. As you look into your waste grease solutions – either shopping around online, browsing articles, or talking to specialist – you’ve probably heard both the terms of “grease trap” and “grease interceptor”. So what’s the difference?
According to the UPC
When it comes down to brass tacks, technically there is only one difference. The Uniform Plumbing Code, which allows US plumbing to (mostly) work with each other, also calls out the specifications for grease removal devices: a critical part to keeping their pipes able to do their jobs. According to the UPC, the difference between a grease trap and a grease interceptor is the flow rate of waste water the device can handle.
- Grease traps have a flow rate of less than 50 gallons per minute.
- Grease interceptors have a flow rate of more than 50 gallons per minute.
Besides this these devices generally work the same and provide the same results, just on different scales. This is why you’ll see the two terms used interchangeably: in the end they both have the same purpose. The trick is figuring out your waste water and grease demand and figuring out the right sizing.
Grease Trap: Practical Considerations
Grease traps are generally used on an individual sink basis or for kitchens with little water or grease use. These units can differ in size from bread-box sized units that sit under individual sinks to units larger than a mini-fridge which handle wastewater for the entire kitchen. These units generally require more servicing: either daily by staff or up to a month by specialists.
Grease Interceptor: Practical Considerations
While sometimes stored in the same location as the larger grease traps, most commonly the interceptor is installed behind the restaurant under the concrete or asphalt. On a regular basis measured by weeks or even months, the interceptor is serviced by specialists whose tanker truck and hose make short-if-unpleasant work of the accumulation.
Maintaining and Serving Your Grease Trap or Grease Interceptor
For some, the first time you even think about your trap or interceptor is when it stops working. While small sink-mounted traps usually see the light of day after they start acting up (and are merely unpleasant to clean), traps or interceptors mounted in the back room can become truly awful if only noticed when clogs start happening (don’t believe us? Check out our photo gallery). Regular maintenance and servicing allows these devices to do their job and save your pipes and avoid fines.
Want to learn more about your options or get a free consultation on installation, maintenance, and servicing of your grease trap or grease interceptor? Contact New England’s Food Grease Trappers and our specialists will be able to help you out. We also have discounted rates for not-for-profit facilities.