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Grease Traps 101

Septic Services LakelandPosted bySeptic Services LakelandAugust 20th, 2021

Grease Traps 101
Here at Southeastern Septic LLC, we have experience working on all parts of a septic system, and that includes the grease trap. Our team understands that not everyone is familiar with grease traps or how they work, which makes them less likely to recognize problems should they occur. In this article, we will provide a brief overview of how grease traps work so that you can keep yours in the best possible condition.

What Do Grease Traps Do?

The purpose of a grease trap is just what it sounds like: to capture grease (as well as fats and oils) that runs down the drain and prevent it from entering the wastewater system. These compounds are all less dense than water, meaning that they float on the surface, and they can accumulate in pipes or drains to cause serious blockages unless they are kept out of the plumbing. Residential kitchen grease traps tend to be small and located inside the sink drain, while those in commercial kitchens need to be much larger to handle the higher volume of cooking grease.

How Do Grease Traps Work?

To understand how grease traps work, you first need to know how septic systems work. To put it simply, all the waste from your toilets and drains flows into the tank, where it then separates into three layers. Solid waste sinks to the bottom, where it is broken down into sludge; liquid flows over the layer of sludge and exits the tank to enter the drain field; and fat, oil, and grease (FOG) float on top of the liquid.

Grease traps typically consist of two vertical barriers placed at the entrance and exit of the tank–these barriers extend down past the surface of the liquid, meaning that any grease on top will stay contained between them and not flow through the outlet pipe. When the grease trap gets full, it will need to be emptied again via pumping.

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