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The Difference Between Residential and Commercial Grease Traps

Home cooking habits have changed significantly in recent times and there has been a huge rise in the number of restaurants and takeaway food outlets in the last 50 years. With the growing popularity of more diverse, exotic foods and the proliferation of quick-fix meal options and ubiquitous fast-food chains, an enemy has been quietly growing in the sewers beneath our feet – and its name is FOG!

FOG stands for ‘fats, oils and grease’, a catch-all term used to describe remnants of the cooking process that quite often find their way down plugholes into our wastewater pipes and beyond. As a way to tackle this problem, there has also been a rapid uptake in installing grease traps both commercially and residentially. Grease traps do one simple job: they remove FOG from wastewater and store it ready for alternative disposal, helping keep pipes clear and sewers flowing.

However, not all grease traps are created equal. There are significant differences between commercial and residential grease traps, particularly in terms of size, design and maintenance needs. Understanding these differences is key to ensuring proper functionality and compliance with regulations, especially for businesses.


Understanding Residential Grease Traps


While not as ubiquitous as their commercial counterparts, residential grease traps can play a crucial role in preventing FOG buildup in your home kitchen. Typically smaller and less complex, these devices are designed for the lower volume of waste produced in the household and are finding a growing market as people do more to protect the environment.

Residential grease traps are simpler in design and function, capturing FOG from dishwashing and cooking activities. Though their maintenance requirements are less stringent – and probably less frequent than with commercial traps – regular cleaning and proper usage are essential to keep them functioning effectively and prevent clogs in your household drainage.


Commercial Grease Traps: A Necessity for Commercial Kitchens


Commercial kitchens, such as those in restaurants, hotels and cafés, deal with a significantly higher volume of FOG compared to a typical household kitchen. This is where commercial grease traps – and Aqua Mundus’ specialist experience and services – come in.

Designed to handle large quantities of wastewater and efficiently separate FOG from wastewater, commercial grease traps are an essential component of any professional kitchen. Here in the UK, they’re also legally required in any commercial setting that prepares hot food – not just in public-facing establishments but in catering and hospitality scenarios too. Those not in compliance can face significant fines and even prosecution.

When choosing a grease trap for your commercial kitchen, it's essential to factor in the size of your establishment, the volume of FOG you produce and local regulations. Finding a commercial grease trap that meets your specific needs, with help from an experienced vendor and service partner like Aqua Mundus, can save you from future headaches and keep your kitchen running smoothly.


Key Features of Commercial Grease Traps


Size and Capacity: Commercial grease traps are much larger than residential ones and are designed to accommodate the high volume of wastewater produced in commercial settings. They can even be scaled up and installed underground where necessary.

Efficiency: These traps are engineered for high efficiency, capable of handling substantial amounts of FOG without compromising on performance. Manual (passive) models are very popular but automatic models are also available where desired.

Compliance: Commercial establishments are subject to stringent regulations regarding wastewater management. Commercial grease traps are designed to meet these requirements, helping businesses avoid fines and costly disruptions.


H2: Grease Traps for Commercial Kitchens: Maintenance is Key


Ensuring the longevity and effectiveness of your commercial grease trap investment is crucial, and regular maintenance is the way to do it. Commercial grease trap maintenance typically involves:

  • Regular Cleaning: Commercial traps require regular cleaning to prevent clogs and maintain efficiency. Depending on the type of trap, the size of your business and your daily number of covers, this could range anywhere between once a week to quarterly.
  • Professional Inspections: Commercial kitchens should expect, and will benefit from, professional inspections to ensure their grease traps are functioning optimally and complying with all relevant regulations.
  • Maintenance Records: Keeping detailed records of maintenance and cleaning – such as Environment Agency-backed waste transfer notes – is often a requirement for commercial kitchens, helping demonstrate compliance during inspections.

Here at Aqua Mundus, we offer the full spectrum of grease trap services, including comprehensive pre-planned maintenance strategies, as well as both next-day servicing and emergency same-day repairs.


Work With Commercial Grease Trap Maintenance and Installation Experts


While residential and commercial grease traps serve the same fundamental purpose, the demands placed on commercial grease traps make them distinct in terms of size, design, maintenance and regulatory compliance.

For food service businesses, investing in the right trap and maintenance plan is essential. Aqua Mundus are a one-stop grease management solution, so contact us on 01386 832205 or for the best grease trap help, advice and services in the business.

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