New Big Dipper Digital Control Increases Life, Improves User Experience


In the three decades since Thermaco developed the innovative Big Dipper grease interceptor, more than 33,000 units have been installed in commercial kitchens around the world. 

Thermaco is also focused on continuing to innovate, and we’re proud to announce the new and improved 40000 Series Big Dipper with digital control. We know a food service establishment's priorities for a grease interceptor are simple: efficient operation, minimal maintenance, and compliance.

The 40000 Series Big Dipper with a new digital control unit is designed to help accomplish all those goals.

Improving user experience

Big Dipper Push Button Interface

Though previous generations of Big Dipper came equipped with a mechanical timer that provided lots of flexibility and control, this did not guarantee optimal run-times were chosen for a particular establishment.

Sometimes it was operated too often, causing unnecessary wear and tear; sometimes it wasn’t operated often enough, allowing too much grease to build up and creating potential maintenance issues.

With the digital control, we’ve opted to leave users plenty of flexibility, while minimizing the likelihood it will be used too much or too little. The digital controls come with regular and high-use modes, each with three options that are accessed simply by pushing a button. Operators can set a mode of operation, depending on the volume of fats, oil and grease your kitchen generates, and then stop worrying about it.

  • On the lightest setting — say for a coffee shop — the skimmer will automatically run every 76 hours (about twice a week) for 15 minutes at a time.
  • The moderate setting, for quick and full-service restaurants, turns the skimmer on for 30 minutes at a time about every 19 hours.
  • And for heavy use settings — say a steakhouse or a buffet — the unit will run for 60 minutes every 19 hours.

The extreme settings allow even longer, more frequent periods of skimming for high producers of fats, oil, and grease.

Sometimes, due to an unusually busy day in the kitchen, you may need an extra skimming cycle. The digital control unit makes this easy.  Simply press the start button on the interface and the Big Dipper will perform the next scheduled cycle and reset the countdown timer for the next cycle.  No need to push in additional tabs or turn the timer forcing you to reset it to the correct time. 

Improving efficiency, reducing maintenanceBig Dipper W-250-IS

In addition to a digital timer, the new control unit is designed to automatically exercise the motor every few hours. The motor runs for 30 seconds and then the unit turns itself off again. This prolongs the life of the Big Dipper, especially in situations where the unit is programmed for the lowest skim setting.

The digital control also comes equipped with a thermistor, which allows it to monitor the temperature of the effluent and turn on the internal heater automatically when needed. In its basic setting, the heater will come on when the skim cycle begins, to ensure that fats, oils and greases are in liquid form and are easily and efficiently skimmed from the effluent and transferred to the storage container.

The thermistor will also detect if the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and if so heat the effluent to maintain a temperature between 40-45 degrees.

Durable controls

Although the new control unit is digital rather than mechanical, we’ve engineered it with long-lasting materials and a durable design to ensure it can stand up to the conditions of a real-world kitchen.

Our goal with the Big Dipper has always been to ensure that your food service establishment remains in compliance with local wastewater regulations, while minimizing the burden compliance puts on you and your kitchen staff.

The 40000 Series Big Dipper is engineered for years and years of useful service in any commercial kitchen. Want to learn more? Check out the the Big Dipper models available or download specifications and drawings for your next job.