Disgusting Grease Traps

Joined Nov 9, 2009
I have worked in restaurants part time my whole life. From short order cook, dishwasher and manager. I have always had an interest in the restaurant business. In the last year I had an opportunity to work for a company that sells a new grease trap or grease recovery device. I have found that working around the traditional grease trap has been a smelly and disgusting experience. I am trying to educate others on the traditional grease trap.

In my grease trap education I have learned that grease traps only collect 85% of the fat,oil and grease (FOG) that enter the trap. If a grease trap is not serviced regularly than 50 to 100% of the grease going down the drain enters the sewer systems. The tax money involved to clean the grease clogs is overwhelming. The oxygen in the water is being depleted by the food solids and grease. Aquatic life is being depleted due to this lack of oxyygen (BOD)

The smell alone of a traditional grease trap is not fair or good for the kitchen staff. Grease is terrible for the environment.

What I need from people in this forum is pictures of grease traps. I am looking to make a gallery of these disgusting products. I believe that this would open up alot of peoples eyes. (Restaurant owners, municipal bodies)

Please send all photos to [email protected]

I would really appreciate all contributions.
I will not ever submit restaurant name, only city and country.
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Mine's clean, I personally muck it out every 6 mths, just a reg. 55 gallon one, and I'm kicking myself for not getting a plastic one, 'cause like Neil says, "rust never sleeps" and expectancy for most steel ones are 5-10 years.

Mucking them out usually costs around $100 and that's for a service the customer never sees, so many owneres are reluctant to do it. Most municipalites now are running video camera "snakes" down plugged lines and getting the owner of that particular property to cough up and pay for the cleaning.

Probably this is the best thing to do......
Joined Aug 23, 2008
I cleaned mine every two weeks at camp this summer. With a 10 or 15-gal capasity, it wasn't too bad. The job was made easy by having the dishwachers limit the ammount of grease and food scraps that went down the drain.

Sorry, I won't be able to get a picture until next summer ... the camp's snowed in right now.

The camp in located in Eldorado National Forest, California.
Joined Oct 18, 2007
Isn't it amazing how effective this is, for the traps as well as plumbing in general?
I have advocated the removal of garbage disposals in a few restaurants because of their misuse.
They are designed for accidental product going down the drain.
But more often they are used as a trash can.
I've seen gallons of old beef stew, chicken fat, etc. be routinely poured into the disposal (I'm surprised I've never seen someone push a whole deer down the disposal).
And then everyone is stunned when the inevitable drain/greasetrap problem occurs.
The worst was at a Victorian Age hotel, where the plumbing that was in the original build was of a smaller gauge, not to mention over a hundred years old.
They were constantly calling Roto-Rooter, etc. for their issues.
I advised the owner to yank the disposal and have maintainance build a screen for the drain. Then the dishstaff could still pour into the sink but the screen trapped the large particles.
Initially all of the dishwstaff were angry with me, but shortly they realized that it wasn't that much of an inconvenience, especially when they factored in all of the times dishes piled up while waiting for the plumber to fix an issue, and then they had to bust butt getting everything done.

Oh, and sorry, no pictures.
Joined Jan 11, 2018
Grease traps are so important - this is because as fats, oils and grease from your cooking cools, it hardens and congeals. It sticks to the inside of your drainage pipes, restricting the water flow and gradually blocking the drain. Using detergents or bleach may appear to helpbut it is only temporary as the mixture soon reverts back to thick or solid fat,forming a blockage further down the pipe.

If you need more information we have literature here - More Information
Joined Jun 18, 2010
Depending in the area, There are also companies that will pay, not just for used fryer oil, but for grease as well. Turn it into another revenue stream for the restaurant.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
The last grease trap I had installed was outside the building. It was a giant concrete tank rated for water flow of 1000 gallons per minute. It had big manhole-sized clean outs on the top. It cost a bunch of money. That was the smallest grease trap my locality would allow a new restaurant to have. I remember asking if other grease abatement or diversion would allow me to not have to buy a giant grease trap but the answer was no. At another restaurant in the same city I was grandfathered in a tank-style grease interceptor that sat between my drain and the sewer. I also did what is called 'best management practices' which meant putting grease in the grease barrel instead of in my drain, plate scraping, etc. When the City came to inspect the sewers and drains on our street one of the people in charge popped their head in our kitchen and said he had to mention that we had the cleanest sewer they'd ever seen. Unfortunately that story held no traction when I brought it up while filing for the rebuild of a smaller restaurant a few years later.
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