Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Plastic Grease Trap for Your Kitchen

Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Plastic Grease Trap for Your Kitchen

In bustling commercial kitchens, the role of a grease trap cannot be underestimated. Day in and day out, these indispensable devices work tirelessly to prevent the influx of fat globules, rancid oils, and thick greases from entering the municipal sewer system, averting a cascade of disruptive blockages.

To comply with local ordinances and ensure a smooth operation, food establishments must install and regularly clean their grease traps. Whether you're setting up a new commercial kitchen or upgrading an existing one, choosing the right grease trap is crucial to meet your establishment's unique needs.

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Capacity and Sizing Considerations

A constantly bustling kitchen that serves a steady stream of customers requires a grease trap with ample capacity to handle the significant volume of grease discharge. Proper sizing is essential, as a grease trap that is too small will necessitate more frequent cleanings and may even lead to non-compliance with local regulations.

On the other hand, investing in a trap that is larger than necessary can be a financial waste. For instance, a deli primarily serving soups and salads will require a considerably smaller-capacity grease trap compared to a fast-food joint that churns out French fries and burgers throughout the day like clockwork.

Space Availability

Similar to allocating space for an adequate sink or a suitable fry station, your establishment must have room for a grease trap. Grease traps can be located either indoors, beneath sinks or flooring, or outdoors on the premises. Indoor grease traps are ideal when space is limited, especially for restaurants situated in densely populated cities. While small indoor traps offer easy access, they may require more frequent cleanings. Outdoor grease traps, often equipped with manhole covers, are typically positioned near the kitchen area.

Choosing the Right Type of Trap

Grease traps come in various types, each with its own advantages and considerations:

Passive hydromechanical grease traps: These traps are compact and cost-effective. However, their small size necessitates more frequent cleanings to remain compliant with regulations.

Gravity grease traps: Made of concrete, these traps are often supplemented with steel, plastic, or fiberglass. Municipalities mandate pumping out gravity grease traps when the fats, oils, and greases fill up 25% of the tank's capacity. While durable, these below-ground structures require replacement every 15 years as they can degrade and fail over time.

Automatic grease traps: Designed for placement under sinks or in indoor corners, these traps have higher upfront costs but offer reduced maintenance expenses. Kitchen staff can easily handle grease pumping tasks, streamlining the maintenance process.

High-capacity hydromechanical grease traps: These traps are gaining popularity, particularly in buildings with limited space for gravity grease traps. Constructed from plastic or fiberglass, they occupy minimal space while providing efficient functionality.

Availability of Replacement Parts

When selecting a grease trap, it's important to consider the availability of replacement parts in case repairs are needed. Like any operational unit, a grease trap may experience occasional failures. Over time, metal and concrete components can deteriorate, while fiberglass traps may develop cracks if shifted. Opting for lightweight and durable plastic traps can mitigate these concerns. Additionally, grease traps may require scheduled replacement of certain parts to ensure consistent performance.

Maintenance Requirements

While managing customer demands and striving for culinary excellence, cleaning the grease trap is likely the last thing on your mind. However, most states require grease traps to be cleaned at least once every quarter or 90 days. Therefore, an easy-to-maintain grease trap becomes a crucial consideration. Smaller traps can be cleaned by kitchen staff, with the fats, oils, and greases disposed of in the trash.

Larger establishments may prefer to hire professional grease trap cleaning services, which involve pumping out the grease using specialized equipment. The waste is then properly disposed of in accordance with local regulations, and some companies even transport the greases to biodiesel plants for recycling.


The selection and maintenance of the appropriate grease trap play a vital role in ensuring efficient and compliant operations within commercial kitchens. By considering factors such as capacity, space, trap type, availability of replacement parts, and maintenance requirements, food establishments can invest in a reliable grease trap system that contributes to seamless waste management and uninterrupted kitchen functionality.