Small Grease Traps: Beyond the Obvious

Small Grease TrapBefore choosing a small grease trap for your foodservice facility, it is important to understand the cons and how they may affect your kitchen's efficiency.

Under the Sink

Small grease traps that reside under the sink are often favored because they have little upfront cost and take up less room than the larger outdoor grease traps. In some cases, they may be the only option due to space availability. However, many don't realize that a smaller grease trap requires more time and maintenance for it to function efficiently. It is important to understand that these small grease traps can be less effective than a large trap for at least one of the following reasons:

  • Issues with the flow control device. This device restricts the flow of water leaving the trap, to allow the grease time to cool and separate. However, this results in slower drain time, which can be very inconvenient for a busy restaurant. If the flow control device is removed, the grease simply flushes through the trap with the water and enters the sewer system.
  • It is not cleaned often enough. A smaller grease trap fills up faster and will need to be cleaned more frequently than a larger grease trap. Small grease traps must be cleaned every 30 days or more often if necessary. If the grease layer is 2 inches thick before the 30 days is up, then the trap needs to be cleaned more often. Unfortunately, due to the odor when opening and cleaning the grease trap, it will be necessary to do it after hours or early enough for the smell to dissipate.
  • It is too small to remove the grease generated by the facility. While a small grease trap may work well for a small, quiet coffee shop, it may be completely overloaded by a busy greasy bacon place, which would have to spend quite a bit of time and money to keep the trap clean.

For Help

If you are still undecided whether a small or large grease trap would be best for your business for the long-term, contact the City of Abilene Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) Program by calling 325-437-4505.