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Grease interceptors are used in plumbing systems to trap greases, oils and solid particles before they can reach the public sewage. For this reason, they are also known as grease traps. A certain oil content is normal in wastewater, and it forms a thin floating layer once it reaches septic tanks and water treatment facilities. However, wastewater from food preparation contains more oil than in other applications, and the waste from multiple commercial kitchens can overwhelm water treatment systems and cause spillage. Lard and other high-viscosity fats can also solidify as they cool down, trapping other solids and blocking sewage pipes.\n

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grease interceptor sizing and installation tips

Grease Interceptor Sizing and installation Tips

COMMERCIAL KITCHEN DESIGN​​ | ​COMMERCIAL KITCHEN PLUMBING​​ | ​GREASE INTERCEPTORS

Grease interceptors are used in ​plumbing systems​ to trap greases, oils and

solid particles before they can reach the public sewage. For this reason, they

are also known as grease traps. A certain oil content is normal in wastewater,

and it forms a thin floating layer once it reaches septic tanks and water

treatment facilities. However, wastewater from food preparation contains more

oil than in other applications, and the waste from multiple commercial kitchens

can overwhelm water treatment systems and cause spillage. Lard and other

high viscosity fats can also solidify as they

high-viscosity fats can also solidify as they cool down, trapping other solids

and blocking sewage pipes.

Grease interceptors should be installed for any commercial kitchen equipment

where grease may be released into drain pipes. Consider that some plumbing

fixtures that do not normally receive grease may be exposed to large amounts

occasionally: for example, floor drains are not normally exposed to large

volumes of grease, but there may be cases where it is spilled on the floor in

large amounts and the floor drains must handle it. Of course, there are also

cases where the use of grease interceptors is obvious. For example, scullery

sinks and meat preparation sinks produce large amounts of grease, oils and

solids.

Make sure your grease interceptors are specified

correctly.

​​ Contact Us

For projects in New York City, only a Registered Design Professional

(RDP) can submit ​​commercial kitchen plumbing designs​​ for approval by

the NYC Department of Buildings, and only a Licensed Master Plumber

(LMP) can carry out the actual installation. Also consider that the NYC

Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) performs routine

inspections to ensure that grease interceptors

inspections to ensure that grease interceptors receive proper

maintenance and cleaning.

In addition to NYC-specific requirements, grease interceptors are

subject to national standards such as:

● PDI-G101: Testing and Rating Procedure for Hydro Mechanical

Grease Interceptors (Plumbing and Drainage Institute)

● ASME A112.14.3: Grease Interceptors (American Society of

Mechanical Engineers)

● ASME A112.14.4: Grease Removal Devices

Grease Interceptor Sizing Procedure

The first step to specify grease interceptors is reviewing the kitchen

layout and determining which equipment must be routed to grease

traps. Interceptors may be specified individually or for multiple fixtures

at once, as allowed by the available space.

After a grease interceptor layout has been proposed, the next step is

calculating the aggregate volume from the fixtures connected to each

unit. Aggregate volume is the maximum volume that can flow through

the interceptor simultaneously, determined by adding the wastewater

volume of individual fixtures plus any required margins.

for calculation of grease interceptor retaining

For calculation of grease interceptor retaining capacity, the NYC

Department of Environmental Protection provides two tables, each with

interceptor capacity values (in pounds) corresponding to aggregate

volume from kitchen fixtures (in cubic inches).

Kitchen Fixtures Covered by

Kitchen Fixtures Covered by Table II

Table I

Pot sinks

Scraper sinks

Food preparation sinks

Woks

Scullery sinks

Automatic dishwashers

Floor drains used only for

Any fixture where soup and stock

washdown purposes

kettles are discharged

The retaining capacity is calculated separately for the fixtures in each

table and the two values are then added. The tables can be viewed

directly in the ​​NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection website.

assume the aggregate volume is 3 000 cubic inches

Assume the aggregate volume is 3,000 cubic inches for Table I fixtures

and 2,500 cubic inches for Table II fixtures. With these values,

● Table I requires 14 lb of retaining capacity

● Table II requires 20 lb of retaining capacity

● The total grease interceptor capacity is 34 lb.

This value applies if all the kitchen fixtures in the example discharge

into a common interceptor. If multiple grease traps are used, the

procedure is carried out separately for each one. Although the

procedure is straightforward, keep in mind that some exceptions apply:

● For commercial kitchens with floor drains where grease may be

discharged, Table I still applies. However, the aggregate volume

must be increased by 1,540 cubic inches for each floor drain.

● Soup and stock kettles that discharge into a floor drain count

towards the Table II aggregate volume, even if floor drains are

Table I fixtures.

● Table I reaches up to 123,000 cubic inches, while Table II reaches

up to 61,600 cubic inches. If these values are exceeded, the grease

interceptor capacity must be calculated by an NYC Registered

Design Professional, based on data extrapolation.

● The retention capacity of grease interceptors (in pounds) must be

at least twice the numerical value of flowrate through the unit (in

gallons per minute for example you need at least

gallons per minute). For example, you need at least 40 lb for 20

gpm.

A final requirement is that water flowing through a grease interceptor

must not have a temperature above 180°F.

General Guidelines for Grease Interceptor Installation

A recommendation not only for grease interceptors but for equipment in

general is adhering to manufacturer instructions. A good product can

have poor performance if it used in the wrong application or installed

incorrectly.

Grease interceptors are available in recessed, semi-recessed and

on-floor versions. They must be equipped with vented flow control

fittings to keep discharge below the flow capacity specified by the

manufacturer. Using manual valves to reduce flow to a grease

interceptor is not allowed.

After initial installation, grease interceptors must be kept under optimal

operating conditions. Cleaning and grease removal must a part of

routine maintenance, and the units should be accessible for inspection

by the NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection.

the use of alternative devices is allowed as long

The use of alternative devices is allowed, as long as the following

requirements are met:

● An ​​NYC Registered Design Professional​​ must file a formal petition.

● The proposed system must deliver equivalent or superior

performance compared with a grease interceptor.

● Equivalency must be demonstrated with detailed documentation

and calculations.

Final Recommendations

Grease interceptors perform a fundamental role in ​​commercial kitchens​​,

as well as other applications where significant amounts of grease or oil

are discharged. They are very important for public hygiene, and the NYC

Dept. of Environmental Protection places stringent requirements

regarding their use, while carrying out routine inspection for units in

operation.

By working with qualified design engineers, you can ensure your grease

traps are specified properly. This ensures code compliance, offers

hygiene for your staff and customers, and prevents the uncontrolled

discharge of grease and oil into the environment.