The blockage of sewage pipes and water distribution systems is a common concern across the world. The release of grease, fats, and oils from a wide variety of sources contaminates the water bodies and causes damage to the wastewater tools. Therefore, increasing the cost of treatment technologies every year.
Grease traps are the most effective solution in this regard, as they are capable of preventing water pollution by trapping the FOG’s and other associated compounds from water bodies through manual and automatic technology.
This article brings you details about the working mechanism of grease traps based on their automated and manual nature.
How Does a Grease Trap Work? Manual vs. Automatic Grease Traps
Grease Traps and Working Mechanism
Grease traps are also known as grease catchers and grease recovery systems. These units have the ability to remove fats, oils, and grease from water and are highly useful in cafes, Hotels, Bakeries, Restaurants, and schools.
These units consist of large tanks that contain an inlet and an outlet. After the water filled with grease is discharged from the source, it enters the device. Inside the device, the water is separated into various components.
The separation system is relatively simpler and relies on the difference in viscosity of all the substances. It is a well-known fact that oil, grease, and water do not mix with each other.
Therefore, once the polluted water enters the trapping system, its rate of flow decreases and the fatty components form a separate layer on top of the water.
Another layer that forms at the bottom of the water is made up of sediment that might also be present in the wastewater. After all three layers are formed, the clean water leaves the chamber via the outlet. The remaining grease is either removed automatically from the unit or remains inside and requires manual cleanup.
Biological Treatment or Dosing
The time of water treatment varies from the size of the trap and the amount of wastewater produced.
Mostly, the time ranges from 2 to 4 weeks, but it can also extend to around eight weeks. That can be done by integrating non-pathogenic bacteria into the system, which can biodegrade the grease and other fatty compounds. Thus, enhancing the overall performance of the product.
Another advantage of biological treatment is the conversion of harmful and high weight molecular compounds into less harmful low weight molecular compounds.
The overall process of biological removal is termed dosing. However, the dosing is carried out after the grease is separated from the water. The microorganisms are incorporated to prevent the grease build-up in the piping systems.
Types of Grease Traps
There are multiple types of grease traps. The most common among which include Passive hydrochemical grease traps, also known as manual grease, automatic grease traps, and gravity grease traps.
These traps differ from each other based on their working mechanism and structure. The detailed design of each unit is discussed below in detail.
Hydrochemical or Manual Grease Traps
These are the most commonly used grease traps and are similar to traditional passive systems. In addition to this, these tools are cost-efficient and perform extremely well in removing grease from water. Thus, they are highly admired by a variety of users.
Furthermore, the diverse size range and easy installation are other prominent attributes of the system that add five stars to its performance. These products are highly suitable for small establishments such as cafes and bakeries and were first introduced in 1885.
Since then, they have been used and upgraded according to living requirements.
Moreover, the main body of the apparatus is constructed using stainless steel or plastic material to prevent corrosion.
Therefore, these traps have high durability and are not prone to damage. As the name indicates, the system must be cleaned manually on a regular basis to ensure long life as well as quality performance.
Automatic Grease Traps
Automatic Grease Removal Units work on a similar principle as their above-mentioned counterpart. However, they are capable of re-heating and skimming the fatty substances present in the water. The device is automatic and can be scheduled to perform the specified tasks.
After the fats and oils have been skimmed, they are passed down to the collector bin for further processing. Further processing of these compounds involves their removal and recycling. Apart from this, the device offers ease of use, as the operator does not have to schedule the skimming activity.
Instead, it is automatically programmed depending on the amount of grease and fatty substances present in the apparatus. However, these units are limited in size and have high investment costs. But, they are highly recommended due to their incredible efficiency and long life.
Gravity Grease Traps
Last but not the least, gravity grease traps have gained wide recognition over the years and are highly popular in the market. These tools are designed for large-scale water treatment systems and are constructed using concrete.
These in-ground tanks are also made up of steel to prevent water from seeping into the soil and groundwater systems. Hence, creating increased pollution and groundwater contamination.
The working operation of these gravity traps is similar to their manual counterparts. The major difference lies in the capacity of both models. Gravity grease traps have a larger capacity and are ideal for heavy-flow applications.
For better performance and high efficiency, it is advisable to maintain the apparatus properly but cleaning them on a regular basis.
These traps are recommended for use in restaurants, large housing facilities, hospitals, and hotels. Another advantage of these large wastewater treatment facilities is their ability to remediate a large amount of wastewater. This does not only contribute to environmental remediation but also helps in the recycling of wastewater.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do they do with grease trap’s grease?
Most of the grease separated from the polluted water streams is manually cleaned from the reservoir. If not cleaned properly, these traps might get trapped inside the cleaning apparatus and lead to blockage in the product, which might affect its efficiency.
In addition to this, some tools also involve the use of biological organisms for converting grease into simpler compounds for better removal and improving the efficiency of the device.
What happens when a grease trap is full?
Overflowing of the grease trap is a common issue. This mostly occurs when the chamber is not cleaned on a regular basis. Along with this, the situation often leads to the spilling of one compartment components to another compartment.
Sometimes, the clog often reaches the inlet and outlet pipes. Thus, blocking them and preventing the water from entering and leaving the product.
How do under sink grease traps work?
The basic principle behind the working of a grease trap is the difference in viscosity of grease and water along with the rate of flow of the contaminated water.
Once the water enters the chamber, its rate of flow decreases and the grease settles on top of the system. This occurs because fatty substances do not dissolve in the water, and thus, the settled material is removed from the top. Thus, leaving clean water which leaves through the outlet.
Why is a grease trap required?
These models are beneficial and are used to separate fats and oils from water. Their basic application involves wastewater treatment, preventing the blockage of sewage pipes, and water recycling.
As fatty substances often get stuck in the pipes and lead to blockage, such traps are highly efficient and are used in restaurants, hotels, and other related places. Therefore, they are highly recommended for daily use.
Should a grease trap be full of water?
It is advised to never fill the grease trap completely with water, as it might lead to an overflow of contaminants in the chamber.
Instead, it is recommended to include 1/4 of water inside the tool for efficient results. This will not only improve the functionality of the material but also enhance its life and prevent it from damage in the longterm.
How do you seal a grease trap?
The most effective material for this purpose includes rubber and silicone. These elements are solid and can stop the contaminants inside the equipment from overflowing.
Similarly, it is not wise to use liquid substances for this purpose as they are not very efficient in this regard. Users only need to reassemble the drainage assembly and reinstall it in the trap according to the instruction mentioned in the user manual.
Grease traps are efficient products designed to remove fats and associated substances from the water systems. The phenomenon works on the difference in viscosity of these compounds and their chemical interaction. Modern models also use bacterias to aid the process.
There are a variety of such devices available in the market, most common among which include manual and automatic tools. The apparatus is not only performance-oriented but is cost-efficient as well. Thus, it is ideal for hotels, cafes, schools, and hospitals.