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Architectural and Engineering Plans for Commercial Kitchens

Don't let grease dictate kitchen design

Commercial kitchens are going into a wider array of settings than ever before: supermarkets, high-rise buildings, convenience stores. Some of these settings are new construction, where there is more design flexibility up front; others are retrofitted.

But a grease trap or grease interceptor — usually required by local code — isn't optional.

Traditional concrete traps take up a lot of space and generally require dedicated, often outdoor, space. This may not be possible in some situations. In other settings, the wastewater lines between your commercial kitchen and an exterior grease trap may be long, creating concerns about grease build-up in the plumbing.

The Big Dipper can solve these problems.

It's designed specifically to intercept FOG at or near their source inside commercial kitchens, eliminating or reducing the need for traditional grease traps.

Unlike traditional passive traps, the Big Dipper is an automated trap that is at home inside commercial kitchens. Smaller units can be located easily underneath effluent sources, such as the three-compartment sink. Larger units, suitable for intercepting grease from multiple appliances, can be installed on a table or in a corner.

It is ideally suited for smaller commercial kitchens that don't produce high quantities of grease. It is also used in larger kitchens, especially institutional settings, to protect internal plumbing and allow smaller passive traps to be installed elsewhere.

The Big Dipper has several advantages over traditional grease traps.

Compact footprint

The Big Dipper is small enough to literally sit underneath a three-compartment sink. This compact footprint allows it to be used even in very small commercial kitchens where space may be at a premium.

Simple installation

Big Dipper systems are simply set on the floor or another surface and then wastewater lines are directed into the unit. It doesn't require opening up the floor, doing excavation or running new lines through walls and floors. A single plumber can handle installation.

Easily serviced by hand

The Big Dipper operates automatically, skimming grease based on a timer or a sensor. The waste fats, oil and grease are deposited into a holding tank that easily detaches and can simply be dumped into kitchen waste receptacles with other trash. This means you don't have to allow for pumper truck access, giving you more flexibility in your design decisions.


Thermaco's Big Dipper systems are designed for a range of installation scenarios, from serving single source fixtures such as sinks to entire kitchens. Below are links to technical specifications, CAD drawings (DWG files) and installation information. Please contact us if you have other questions or would like to discuss an engineering issue.