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When winter hits hard, many people think of problems like frozen pipes, icicles or icy sidewalks. Some think of snow related issues with roofs and gutters and driveways. These problems are very real, and solutions are often required to prevent injury or property damage. However, there is another problem that increases in risk as temperatures plunge that can cause severe business disruption with commercial kitchens; grease waste flow management.

What is Grease Waste?

Grease interceptors in commercial kitchens are often required as a means of preventing Fat, Oil and Grease (FOG) from discharging into municipal sewer systems. As building design trends are pushing interceptors further away from the kitchen and capturing more points of use as part of a larger system, it becomes vital to heat the FOG to its optimal viscosity from the initial flow point to the interceptor. This prevents blockage, maintains flow and optimizes grease interceptor performance.

Since FOG separates and interceptors perform at their best when the effluent is hot, generally ranging from 105-115°F, thermal insulation of the pipes alone is not sufficient to keep grease waste free flowing. Without proper preventive measures, the colder it gets, the more likely a business stopping clog will occur.

According to the EPA, 800 to 17,000 pounds of grease are discharged into the sanitary sewer system per restaurant per year*. The EPA re­ports that there are approximately 74,000 sanitary sewer overflows per year. It is estimated that 50% of those overflows are attributed to FOG blockages. (Source: EPA National Pretreatment Program 40 CFR 403)

Modern commercial kitchens need to be concerned about discharge of FOG to municipal sewers. If effluent is too hot or too much volume is delivered to the interceptor at one time, FOG can bypass the grease interceptor and congeal downstream in the sewer. This can lead to serious sewer clogging issues and heavy fines for offenders.

Grease Waste Flow Management at Work

nVent offers a unique solution, based on nVent RAYCHEM  XL-Trace Edge (CT) heating cables, for the efficient and environmentally responsible management of grease waste lines that run from commercial kitchens to grease interceptors. An nVent RAYCHEM Grease Waste Flow Maintenance system keeps Fat, Oil, and Grease (FOG) effluent at an ideal temperature that is hot enough to flow into grease interceptors but is also cool enough to not exceed the maximum effluent temperature mandated by some municipalities which helps minimize FOG bypassing the grease interceptor. 

The Grease Waste line heat tracing system includes specified heating cables, power connections, splices and tee connections, controls, and accessories necessary for a complete and economical solution. nVent RAYCHEM heat trace cables can be installed on metal or plastic pipes, can be wrapped around valves and other heat sinks and can be used for above ground or buried pipes.

Trace-Calc Pro for Buildings online design tool lets you create projects that can contain multiple applications, including Grease Waste Flow maintenance, multiple circuits, and multiple pipe segments with different design parameters on a single circuit.

If you are looking to specify a RAYCHEM System solution for your grease waste line application please visit Product MasterSpec Section 220533.