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Restaurant grease traps are the devices design to intercept fats, oils and grease (FOG) from leaving a kitchen facility and entering a sewer system. Slimy FOG compounds that, by design, are trapped and held in place are chiefly byproducts of cooking that leach out of meats and dairy products. The idea is that wastewater flows Read more

Restaurant grease traps are the devices design to intercept fats, oils and grease (FOG) from leaving a kitchen facility and entering a sewer system.

Slimy FOG compounds that, by design, are trapped and held in place are chiefly byproducts of cooking that leach out of meats and dairy products. The idea is that wastewater flows from sink, wash area and cleaning table drains into tanks that are designed specifically to trap the crap that shouldn’t enter sewage systems. In a grease trap, solids settle while oils, fats and grease—usually lighter that water—float to the top where they’re arrested, keeping them from flowing out with the wastewater discharge.

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Typically, a grease interceptor works the same way as a grease trap, but on a much larger scale. They’re actually pretty simple devices, and their basic design hasn’t changed since the 1880s.

It’s flow rate that defines the difference between a grease trap and a grease interceptor. A grease trap is intended for use with flow measuring less than 50 gallons/minute. Larger operations—such as a poultry process plant—require the installation of a larger-scale “grease interceptor.”

Ask anyone in the municipal wastewater treatment business:  one of the biggest environmental problems grease can have, outside of clogging pipes, is the disruption caused in the “digestive” process of water treatment plants.  Bacterial processes are used to break down and clean sewage but FOGs can destroy these bacteria, causing all sorts of problems.

Design

Grease interceptors are designed with a high inlet/outlet, direction flow plate, vertical baffle and flow control device—all of which play a key role in the proper separation of grease.

High inlet/outlet layouts prevent the clogging of the inlet line, commonly seen in systems that have a lower inlet. This clogging, like that of the wastewater piping system, can result in a blockage or backup in the system or a reduction in separation percentage (grease to water) unsuitable for municipal wastewater systems.

Vertical baffle plates cause immediate disruption in the flow, forcing fluids directly to the bottom of the separation chamber where it is then met by the direction flow plate, initiating the separation process. From there, freshly separated water is reintroduced to the main water system and the grease is cleaned out by removing the cover and skimming it off the top.

Flow controls play a key role in the proper functionally of a grease interceptor because they’re designed to work properly under certain flow conditions.

Sizing is important.  Prior to installing an interceptor, check with local authorities for sizing requirements. They may differ according to specific locations.

The following will outline the most common method for grease trap/interceptor sizing along with a few variables, with solutions that may affect overall system performance.

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Performance affecting variables:

In the scenario described above (with a flow rate of 55 GPM), additional flow control devices may be needed if the incoming velocity/flow exceeds the recommended velocity. A high velocity incoming flow results in a more turbulence, which reduces the systems efficiency and increases the separation time.

Interceptor size needs increase if . . .

  • the incoming ratio of grease to water increases. If the ratio of grease to water is higher, the separation process will not work.
  • there’s a possibility of detergents in the system (soap/cleaning products, etc.). Detergents break down the grease particulars into smaller particles that will not separate properly and can pass through a grease interceptor – polluting the flow of water released into municipal treatment systems.

 By increasing the size of an interceptor unit, both the flow path and separation time are increased, allowing the system to capture the particles more effectively.

Install a solids interceptor in series (prior to the grease Interceptor) if . . .

  • the system contains solid particles (such as food). Because grease has a lower specific gravity than water, it floats to the top with ease. But when a solid (such as a French fry) is introduced it sinks to the bottom and overtime can pass through the system. By introducing a solids interceptor prior to the grease intercepting process this French fry or any other solids are caught and will not be at risk of re-entering the cities drainage system.

 Installation

grease traps, grease interceptors, watts water technology, watts, plumbing, fats oils and grease, FOG

The installation of a grease interceptor is just as important in the operation of the system’s performance. First and foremost, the location of a grease interceptor should be as close as possible to the source of grease due to the cooling and solidification potential of grease over longer plumbing runs. For best results, the grease interceptor can be installed in any of the three orientations illustrated above.

Be sure—prior to finalizing the install location—to consider the clearance necessary to accommodate any connective piping and provide sufficient space for proper removal of the cover for cleaning purposes.

Key considerations

Grease interceptors are not designed to handle solid debris. In an application where solids are present, such as all sinks where garbage disposals are used, a solids interceptor is required to be used in conjunction with the grease interceptor. Due to the nature of greases—which have a natural attraction to solid particles—the presence of solids dramatically reduces a grease interceptor’s effectiveness. This can result in everything from unpleasant odors caused by the  decay of solids, to the clogging of pipes or even the grease interceptor.

If an interceptor is installed outside, which is a common practice, it’s important to ensure all piping is installed below the frost line. In these applications, a single or series of extensions are common, allowing the interceptor to be buried low enough to avoid freezing.

Because proper flow through a grease interceptor plays an important role in its function, it’s important to regulate incoming velocities for proper separation to occur.

A flow control device is typically designed with an integral orifice (opening) to assure that an interceptor has optimal flow rate, and air intake. The following chart indicates the appropriate orifice size for gravity flow conditions (where no pressure or “head” is present).

grease traps, grease interceptors, watts water technology, watts, plumbing, fats oils and grease, FOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

grease traps, grease interceptors, watts water technology, watts, plumbing, fats oils and grease, FOG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frequently specified options:

Maintenance + cleaning:

The cleaning frequency of a grease interceptor system is determined by the a.) capacity of an interceptor (measured in pounds of grease that can be trapped within it) and b.) the amount of incoming grease.

Because of this, grease removal intervals may vary from once a week to once every several weeks. When the necessary cleaning schedule has been determined based on a unit’s specific application and size, regular cleaning is necessary to maintain systems function and efficiency.

After the removal of accumulated grease and waste material, the interceptor should be thoroughly checked for any clogs or blockages in the inlet, outlet and air relief.

The following steps should be followed during the grease removal and cleaning process:

  1. Loosen and remove any fasteners used to secure the cover
  2. Remove the cover
  3. Clean out any grease.
    1. If applicable, use a scoop or shovel to remove any remaining solidified grease in unit
  4. If present, remove the sediment bucket; empty and clean thoroughly
  5. Using a clean water supply, hose down and wipe out the inside of the body
  6. Check integrity of cover sealing gasket (replace if needed)
  7. Reinstall cover and lock down hardware

If there is a semi-automatic interceptor in place, use the following steps for cleaning:

  1. With the outlet valve open, run a full stream of clean hot water (140°F min) through the interceptor for at least 2 minutes
  2. Allow unit to cool for approximately 3 minutes
  3. Close the valve on the outlet side of the interceptor
  4. Remove cap from top of interceptor and attach draw-off hose; position hose to drain into waste receptacle
  5. Run hot water through the interceptor at rate of 1.5 to 2.5 GPM
  6. Once filled, force the liquified grease out through the top draw-off hose
  7. When clear water begins to discharge through the draw-off hose, the interceptor is clean
  8. Disconnect the draw-off hose and replace the pipe cap
  9. Re-open the valve on the outlet and your interceptor is ready for normal use. 

Robert DiPlacido, Mechanical Engineer, Watts, has eight years of experience in the plumbing market. The majority of his time was has been focused on commercial construction, chiefly with storm and wastewater management drainage systems, though also includes experience with roof and floor drainage systems, cleanouts, lavatory and urinal carriers, water separation systems (grease, oil and solids), trench drains, chemical waste and cross-linked polyethylene (PEX) tubing.

Leading hot water solutions manufacturer Bradford White supports top snowboardcross competitor and master plumber as he races to compete in the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing Bradford White Water Heaters, an industry-leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial water heating and storage products, announces its continued support for master plumber and general contractor Jonathan Cheever Read more

Leading hot water solutions manufacturer Bradford White supports top snowboardcross competitor and master plumber as he races to compete in the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing

Bradford White Water Heaters, an industry-leading manufacturer of residential, commercial and industrial water heating and storage products, announces its continued support for master plumber and general contractor Jonathan Cheever as he pursues his dream of competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The company has renewed its sponsorship agreement with Cheever, a 2018 U.S. Olympian and former national snowboardcross champion who has balanced world-class international competition with plumbing, general contracting and design work throughout his career.

Cheever credits his career in the skilled trades as the key factor allowing him to compete internationally for more than 15 years.

“My experience in the trades has been essential to my snowboarding career,” Cheever said. “Without the flexibility I found in the industry, I wouldn’t have had the freedom to race all over the world, from the U.S. and Canada to New Zealand, Europe and Asia. Plumbing has also taught me lessons in patience and resilience that have been critical to maintaining a professional snowboarding career for almost 20 years. I’m grateful not only for Bradford White’s generous support of my efforts but for their dedication to the entire trades profession.”

Cheever learned the plumbing trade from his father while growing up in Boston and earned his master plumber license in 2004. He currently operates Team Cheever Design Build in Park City, Utah, delivering high-quality residential and commercial plumbing, general contracting and interior design services.

“Jonathan represents peak achievement, not just in his sport but in his career as a hard-working tradesman and entrepreneur,” said Carl Pinto, Jr., senior director of marketing communications for Bradford White Corporation. “The dedication that he has demonstrated on the slopes has also fueled his success as a highly skilled plumber and contractor. While his accomplishments are extraordinary, they also reflect the commitment and discipline that define the trades. We’re proud to be working with him as he continues to chase his dreams.”

Cheever’s outstanding career accomplishments include multiple podium finishes in World Cup competition; a third-place finish in the overall 2010-11 World Cup standings; the 2010-11 U.S. championship in snowboardcross; and a place on the U.S. team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

A part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, RIDGID is proud to support trade professionals giving back to the community RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, today announced their sponsorship of the first Miracle Mechanical project, a new initiative that completes plumbing, heating and air conditioning work for those in need at no-cost to Read more

A part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, RIDGID is proud to support trade professionals giving back to the community

RIDGID®, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio, today announced their sponsorship of the first Miracle Mechanical project, a new initiative that completes plumbing, heating and air conditioning work for those in need at no-cost to the homeowner. The non-profit, headquartered in Georgia, is spearheaded by plumbing and mechanical contractor Brent Ridley.

“I have been doing tool reviews for many years, but I wanted to do more with my platform and really try to help some folks,” said Ridley, who along with working as a contractor is also a tool reviewer and co-host of the Tool Pros podcast.

The Miracle Mechanical team recently completed its first project for homeowner Nick Hendricks and his family in Monroe, Georgia. Hendricks had been seriously injured in a car accident. While he was recovering, the family’s home began experiencing septic system issues.

“The repairs mean everything to us at a time like this,” Hendricks said. “It had come to a point that we were afraid when it rained that the toilet downstairs would overflow due to groundwater getting in the septic and backing up through the toilet! Any time it rained the toilet would bubble and gargle and it was very unsettling.”

The Miracle Mechanical team repaired the septic system issues to prevent sewage from backing up in the house. They also installed three new toilets, repaired kitchen sink piping and installed a new electric water heater.

“At RIDGID we’re committed to not only supporting the trades, but also giving back to the community,” said Becky Brotherton, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, RIDGID for Emerson. “It’s a privilege for our team to be a financial supporter of the work Miracle Mechanical is doing to help others.”

Emerson’s professional tools business, which includes RIDGID as well as the Greenlee® and Klauke® brands, provides the industry’s broadest portfolio of advanced, reliable tools and technologies for the mechanical, electrical and plumbing trades globally.

Visit emerson.com/professionaltools for more information.

With zero emissions, economical electric steam and hot water boilers deliver maximum heat and hot water in minimum spatial footprint Due to the threat of global warming as well as international commitments to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, municipalities and regions using district heating in Europe and North America are tasked with significantly reducing Read more

With zero emissions, economical electric steam and hot water boilers deliver maximum heat and hot water in minimum spatial footprint

Due to the threat of global warming as well as international commitments to the Paris Accord on Climate Change, municipalities and regions using district heating in Europe and North America are tasked with significantly reducing their environmental footprint in record time.  With district heating, towns or large areas typically receive heat and hot water, distributed to commercial, residential, or public buildings at greater economies of scale than individual heating systems.

In response, last year the 27-nation European Union (EU) agreed to cut greenhouse gas carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.  According to a recent report that has tracked the EU’s power sector since 2015, renewables surpassed fossil fuels last year (38% to 37%), indicating that municipalities relying on district heating are already pivoting away from often inefficient, outdated equipment that produces excess carbon emissions.

Even the U.S., which recently rejoined the Paris Agreement, has targets for American businesses to achieve a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050.

While the interest of regions using district heating in electric boilers has waxed and waned in the last century, suddenly it is in vogue again.  Whether to honor Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) goals, meet regulatory commitments, or take advantage of government credits and incentives, a growing number of municipalities are installing new or retrofit high-voltage electrode boilers that are compact, economical, and produce no emissions.

This is, in part, due to technological advances in electric boiler design that increase the output to a level that rivals even large gas or oil-fired boilers.  When utilized for district heating, electric-powered alternatives are sure to be a critical piece of the puzzle to meet future emission reduction goals.

Transitioning from High-Emission Gas and Oil-Fired Boilers

With district heating, besides the notorious greenhouse gasses carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), natural gas-fired boilers and furnaces emit dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and particulate matter (PM).

However, many facility engineers familiar with gas-fired boilers mistakenly believe that electric boilers cannot match the output of the traditional, fossil fuel burning units.  Due to considerable advances in electric boiler technology, that is far from the case.  Today, such technology can match the capacity of large gas or oil-fired boilers in a much smaller footprint.

Electric boilers utilize the conductive and resistive properties of water to carry electric current and generate steam.  An A.C. current flows from an electrode of one phase to ground using the water as a conductor.  Since chemicals in the water provide conductivity, the current flow generates heat directly in the water itself.  The more current (amps) that flows, the more heat (BTUs) is generated, and the more steam produced.  Crucially, almost 100% of the electrical energy is converted into heat with no stack or heat transfer losses.

As an example, the electrodes of the CEJS High Voltage Electrode Steam Boiler by Acme, a Canada-based manufacturer of industrial and commercial boilers, are vertically mounted around the inside of the pressure vessel.  This enables the unit to produce maximum amounts of steam in a minimum amount of floor space, with boiler capacity from 6MW to 52MW.

The boiler operates at existing distribution voltages, 4.16 to 25 KV with up to 99.9% efficiency, and can produce up to 170,000 pounds of steam per hour.  With pressure ratings from 105 psig to 500 psig, the boilers are designed to ASME Section 1, and are certified, registered pressure vessels at the location of the boiler.

“There is an entire generation of district heating facility engineers that grew up with oil and gas-fired boilers almost exclusively,” says Robert Presser, Vice President of Acme Engineering, which, along with North American facilities, builds in Europe to European standards and has a network of CE-compliant fabricators for the pressure vessel, as well as partners in France and the UK for local equipment assembly.

“As a result of preconceived notions, most view electric boilers as small underpowered units, like a hot water heater,” adds Presser.  “So, we frequently have to educate engineers that there is electric boiler technology that can match the capacity of large gas or oil-fired boilers available.”

According to Presser, the electric boiler technology is used for residential and commercial district heating, which is increasing in demand, particularly within urban centers.  With district heating, distributed heat is generated in a central location through an insulated pipe system, and utilized for high-efficiency, low-pollution, space and water heating.  For central heating applications, electric boiler technology quietly supplies ample power for its compact size.  This approach is currently being considered to install several 50MW steam boilers in the center of Manhattan, replacing gas-fired boilers to provide centralized steam to a number of buildings.

Typically, district heating upgrades are initiated due to high heating costs that customers find unaffordable, often due to expensive fossil fuels or an aging system that needs to be replaced.  Increasingly, such upgrades are pursued to minimize environmental impact.

The upgrades often entail retrofitting or replacing boilers (the heat source) with cleaner, more efficient electric alternatives, along with the heat distribution network (pipes/ heat exchanger stations).

In addition, electric boilers have several advantages compared to oil or gas-fired boilers, including superior safety, ease of installation, faster start-up and shut down time, and quiet operation. Electric boilers do not have a high minimum operating level to make them immediately available.

“Electric boilers do not need an operator because if anything goes wrong, the breaker trips, preventing further escalation of the issue,” says Presser. “With gas burning boilers, however, any gas leak can increase the risk of an explosion.  So, gas units must usually be continually monitored or periodically inspected.”  He notes that state and municipal safety guidelines vary depending on boiler type and the expected frequency of inspection.

With electric boilers, the energy input as well as adjustment is also precise and virtually immediate.  In contrast, increasing or decreasing the temperature in a gas fired boiler is a slower process because it takes time for the heat in the boiler to rise or dissipate before reaching the targeted output.

The electric units are also exceptionally quiet compared to fuel fired boilers.  “Unlike gas-powered burners that throttle like turbine engines almost continually, electric boilers keep operational noise levels down,” says Presser.  “Because the loudest boiler component is a circulating pump motor, it is easy to have a conversation next to one without having to raise your voice.”

As the EU and U.S. resolve to dramatically cut their greenhouse gases to combat climate change, the urgency for areas using district heating to similarly reduce their carbon emissions will only grow. In this battle to protect the environment before the global climate hits an irreversible tipping point, municipalities along with state and federal government, and the commercial sector must do their part.  Fortunately, advanced, zero-emission electric boiler technology can be a readily implementable part of the solution.

For more info, contact Robert Presser at Acme Engineering rpresser@acmeprod.com; phone: 888 880-5323; or visit our website.

All closet augers are created equal. Right? “Wrong” says Alan Trout of Trout Plumbing LLC in Pittsburgh, PA. “Most off-the-shelf closet augers lack the durability, spring action, and special features professionals need,” he argues. “You can’t just waltz into Wal-Mart for one.” That’s why Trout counts on a pair of popular, innovative Teletube® Flexicore® closet Read more

All closet augers are created equal. Right?

“Wrong” says Alan Trout of Trout Plumbing LLC in Pittsburgh, PA.

“Most off-the-shelf closet augers lack the durability, spring action, and special features professionals need,” he argues. “You can’t just waltz into Wal-Mart for one.”

That’s why Trout counts on a pair of popular, innovative Teletube® Flexicore® closet augers from General Pipe Cleaners.

Versatility And Reliability Count

The heavy-duty Teletube Flexicore closet auger remains the industry’s most durable auger – and excels at clearing stoppages just beyond the bowl.

That’s because General’s rugged tool carries three extra feet of Flexicore® cable telescoped inside the guide tube.

“I just push the button for extra cable length when I need it,” Trout says. “And with a total reach of six feet, there’s usually no need to pull the bowl!”

General’s Flexicore closet augers are the ideal for quickly clearing clogged toilets. The strength and durability of Flexicore cable make the difference.

Flexicore comprises two layers of tempered spring steel coiled tightly over a core of 49-strand wire rope – for remarkable resistance to kinking.

The design is so tough, it’s guaranteed against breakage for a full year – including damage to the cable, as well as to the closet auger’s other components.

Performance – Inside And Out

On one recent job, a homeowner unsuccessfully tried unclogging a three-inch cast-iron stack – after feeding 25 feet of cable into the line.

“The customer must’ve missed the stoppage – or his cable was too small,” Trout recalls, “because I extended Teletube to six feet upon arrival – and quickly cleared the clog!”

Teletube’s extra reach even lets Alan Trout clear outside stoppages.

On another job, the powder room toilet in a two-room home office suite suddenly backed up.

After unsuccessfully snaking the drop head Teletube through the bowl, Trout went in through the outside fresh-air vent – and immediately got things flowing.

“That extra three feet made all the difference,” he smiles.

Special Features Enhance Appeal

He likes General’s down head option, too.

The optional down head follows bowl contours – and springs through sharply angled passages while protecting inner walls from chipping or breaking.

Alan Trout also has an optional Closet Auger Bag. General’s convenient carrying case puts an end to dragging dripping closet augers though homes, hospitals, and offices.

It keeps a closet auger contained and out-of-sight between jobs. Three vent holes let the auger dry between tasks. And thick shoulder strap keeps hands free to carry other tools.

“Until I got the bag, I’d carry a bucket with the Teletube,” Trout chuckles. “General’s Closet Auger Bag enhances ‘professional’ appearance – and keeps customer property clean.”

Building Trust – Job After Job

From installations and repairs to leaks and stoppages, Trout Plumbing handles a wide range of problems for Pittsburgh-area customers – both commercial and residential.

“On every job, we aim to build a level of professional trust that turns new customers into lifetime customers,” Trout says.

Proper equipment operation helps makes the difference, he quickly adds. But he isn’t afraid to push his Teletube closet augers to the limit – inside and out.

Part Of The Drain Cleaning Arsenal

For most inside drain cleaning jobs, Trout favors General’s classic Super-Vee® hand-held machine.

“I use it at least once a week – if not more – on 1-1/4” to 2” lines,” he notes.

In fact, Super-Vee easily unclogs sink, tub, and laundry drain lines up to 3” in diameter. With a dependable motor, durable aluminum drum, and tough Flexicore cable, Super-Vee withstands the most demanding small line tasks, and keeps working.

Convenient, quick-change cable cartridges also make Flexicore cable switching clean and easy.

“With 3/8” cable, my Super-Vee was actually able to snag – and remove – a broken cable in one customer’s slow-draining line,” Trout recalls. “And that solved the problem!”

The Bottom Line

Like Teletube closet augers, Super-Vee carries an almost legendary reputation for rugged reliability – and longevity.

“I actually bought my Super-Vee from a plumber with excess equipment when I first went into business,” he continues. “So I’d say it’s nearly 15 years old – and still works great!”

His Teletube closet augers work great, too.

“As a plumbing service contractor, I use Teletube toilet augers from General,” Trout concludes. “The Teletube can almost do it all!”

For more information, contact the Drain Brains at 800-245-6200, or visit https://drainbrain.com/en/products/closet-augers-2/