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How the Big Dipper® Works

The Big Dipper is an automatic grease interceptor that can be used to manage a single source of grease in a kitchen, such as a three-compartment sink, or be plumbed to handle kitchen effluent from multiple fixtures.

Models with Internal Strainer Baskets

Big Dippers with Internal Strainer Baskets (IS) are automatic, self-cleaning devices. As greasy kitchen effluent drains from commercial kitchen fixtures, the unit traps the grease & oils. Incidental food solids in the kitchen flow are trapped in a strainer basket for removal. The grease & oils separate from the effluent and rise to the surface of the stainless steel tank. The unit automatically skims the trapped grease & oils at least once per day and transfers the grease & oils to a collection container. A digital timer controls the self cleaning operation, activating the skimming wheel at the proper time. “Cleaned” water exits the unit and flows into the facility drain lines. 

Big Dipper 51k Series Operational Illustration

Big Dipper Operational Video


Setting Operation of the Big Dipper  


Automatic Solids Transfer Series Operation

Big Dipper AST systems automatically separate and remove grease, fat, and oil from drain water flow. A patented technological breakthrough allows incidental food solids and other debris found in the effluent to be separated from the grease and pumped out of the solids retention area to the drain. The entire process is controlled automatically by a timer. The operation of the Big Dipper AST can be broken into two components.

Operation of Big Dipper AST Series

The Separation Process

As drain water containing free-floating grease and oils enters the Big Dipper, the lighter fats and oils immediately separate, pass through the solids filter basket to the top of the tank, and are trapped in the grease retention area. Heavier clean water exits under the outlet baffle. Any food solids or debris contained in the drain water entering the Big Dipper are separated by the filter basket and held in the solids retention area.

The Self-Cleaning Process

Incidental solids and trapped grease are automatically removed from the Big Dipper. An internal timer periodically activates the solids transfer pump, which whisks the trapped solids out of the solids retention area and discharges them to the outlet of the Big Dipper to join the cleaned water exiting the system.

An independent digital timer is set to activate the grease removal process. When the skimming action begins, the electric heating element is activated and heats the system to 115-130o F. This ensures that all fats and oils are liquefied before they are automatically removed from the tank.

Simultaneously, the motor which rotates the skimming wheel is activated. Grease and oil adhere to the sides of the specially designed skimming wheel. A wiper blade assembly scrubs the grease and oil from the wheel. The skimmed fats/oils are discharged to the collection container supplied with the Big Dipper. 

Learn more about the advantages to using Big Dipper systems in a food service establishment.