How Automatic Grease Removal Units are Better (and Cheaper) than Passive Grease Traps


Fats, oils and grease clogging up the sewer pipes have made big headlines in recent years with great emphasis placed on the importance of effective grease traps and grease management systems. This is especially important for commercial foodservice operations where FOG’s will typically be found on a greater scale. With a little research into the arena of grease traps it soon becomes apparent that there are two main types of systems – passive (manual) or automatic (grease recovery units).

Goslyn Grease Separator

Grease Removal Units (GRU) also known as automatic grease traps have the same primary function as manual alternatives. Both designs deal with FOG and prevent troublesome fatberg ingredients from entering the sewer system. There’s no question that employing a grease trap of some form is better for your business and better for the environment.

Both models separate FOG, solids and water within the tank. By slowing the flow and letting the wastewater cool, each element naturally isolates and separates – solids sink, water remains in the middle and FOG’s float. It is how each of these elements is dealt with once they have been isolated that differentiates between a passive and automatic grease interceptor. So, is one system better than the other? Read on to find out…

Why Choose Automatic Grease Removal Units?

Elaborating on the Grease Combatting Process

It’s already been established that the core principle of a grease trap is the same, whatever the design however a GRU takes the process a little further.

Whereas manual units will simply contain and hold kitchen nasties until cleaned out, automatic units will systematically skim the top layer of the tank where the FOG sits, depositing it into a collection container. The contents of the container can be disposed of easily (and responsibly) when necessary without needing to open up and access the interior of the grease trap.

Any solids get caught in the filter – the first point of contact in the grease trap for grey water. This filter is readily accessible and can be easily removed for disposal of solids.

Water is free to continue flowing through to the drainage system minus any harmful bits that could potentially cause a blockage.

Savings that Add-Up

It’s undeniable that a GRU is more expensive to buy than a passive trap, but consider the bigger Piggy bank savings picture. In the long run automatic systems prove to be much more cost effective.

Yes, they may cost more initially and they require daily maintenance (although it’s minimal) to empty the solids filter and FOG collection container. Some models also need an electricity supply to power and carry out the programmed skimming of FOG (albeit only generating low running costs). However even with all of these factors taken into consideration, over the course of 3+ years the potential savings that can be made are substantial. Any member of staff can perform in-house maintenance rather than hiring specialist services and there should be no need for a costly in depth kitchen sanitisation after each clean. You can also rule out potential loss of earnings resulting from kitchen down time. Surely this will make the extra set-up expense worthwhile?

Performance, Efficiency and Convenience

While cost is obviously a major factor that needs to be considered when choosing a grease trap it shouldn’t be the only point of reference. Automatic GRU’s are simple to use, convenient to install and reliably effective at preventing FOG from clogging up the pipes. Throw in reduced odours (FOG doesn’t sit stagnant in the tank) and easy cleaning then the question becomes ‘Why shouldn’t you choose an automatic grease removal unit’?

Basic Science Science molecules and flasks

The more grease there is in a grease trap, the less effective and therefore efficient it is. As GRU’s remove FOG from the tank into a separate container on a daily basis there’s never that hefty build-up of grease that there would be in a manual unit. This makes automatic GRU’s undisputedly more efficient at dealing with effluent materials than manual alternatives.

Passive Grease Traps

As the quantity of grease in the tank increases over days and weeks, performance and efficiency will decrease with a sudden decline experienced when the trap is full (signifying that the trap has stopped working).

Automatic Grease Recovery Units

As grease is separated and removed from the trap regularly, the quantity of FOG present at any one time is minimised. The quantity of grease in the tank remains relatively low enabling performance and efficiency levels to remain high; much more effective at keeping fatberg contributors at bay.

Helping to Make the Right Decision

Investing in the most suitable grease trap, especially when choosing to go automatic, is a big decision. Not only does it benefit the business as a whole and contribute to a healthier environment but can also mean the difference between abiding by legislation and incurring a hefty fine.

To guarantee that the right decision is made a site survey is recommended.  UK Grease Traps Direct can arrange this service free of charge to assess the type of grease trap required and the size and quantity needed. Get in touch today for more information.