Title:
Grease Receptor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A grease collection unit including a drain tube that is removably connected to a drain pipe from an exhaust unit, a hollow housing that is connected to the drain tube, and a tray that slides in and out of the housing. Grease from an exhaust unit flows through the drain tube and collects in the tray. When the tray is full, it may be removed from the housing so that the grease can be properly discarded.



Inventors:
Gilchrist, Bernie (Cashiers, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/555433
Publication Date:
05/10/2007
Filing Date:
11/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24C15/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPURLOCK, BRETT SHANE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fox Rothschild LLP (Lawrenceville, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A grease collection unit comprising: a drain tube that is configured to be removably connected to a drain pipe from an exhaust unit; a housing that is connected to the drain tube; and a tray that is removably disposed within the housing; wherein grease from the exhaust unit flows through the drain tube and collects in the tray within the housing; and wherein the tray may be removed from the housing to discard the grease that collects in the tray.

2. The grease collection unit of claim 1 wherein the tray is disposed within the housing in a sliding engagement.

3. The grease collection unit of claim 1 wherein the housing is airtight and waterproof when the tray is disposed within the housing.

4. The grease collection unit of claim 1 wherein the hollow housing is enclosed on all sides except for one side which enables the tray to be removed from the housing.

5. The grease collection unit of claim 1 further comprising a shut-off valve disposed at the base of the drain tube such that when the tray is removed from the housing the shut-off valve automatically stops the flow of grease from the drain tube into the housing.

6. The grease collection unit of claim 1 wherein the housing further comprises a gauge that indicates the amount of grease that has collected in the tray.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of provisional application Ser. No. 60/732,921 filed on Nov. 2, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Commercial kitchens, such as in restaurants and fast food outlets, frequently have a ventilation hood over stoves, grills, broilers and the like for collecting and exhausting the smoke and fumes generated by cooking processes. Hot grease-laden air rises into the hood, and is drawn into a duct by means of a motor driven blower mounted on the kitchen roof or adjacent area. The contaminated air is exhausted to the outdoors.

A frequent problem with many kitchen exhaust units is the excessive accumulation of solid or semi-solid grease on various parts of the exhaust blower unit and on the adjacent roof and surrounding surface. This creates a significant fire hazard and also damages the roof over time. Also, rain water that flows off the roof is contaminated with the grease and gets into the gutters and soil.

Thus, one aspect of the present invention provides an apparatus for collecting and containing airborne grease from an exhaust unit. Another aspect of the present invention enables proper disposal of the grease so that it does not accumulate on the roof or surface adjacent to the exhaust unit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

The present invention is better understood by a reading of the Detailed Description of the Invention along with a review of the drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the grease receptor according to an aspect of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic view of an exhaust unit connected to a grease receptor according to an aspect of an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in the Figures, the grease receptor 10 has a housing 14 with a removable tray 16 disposed therein. The removable tray 16 fits within the housing 14, such as in a sliding engagement. In one aspect of the present invention, the housing 14 is waterproof and airtight when the tray 16 is disposed within the housing 14. In another aspect of the invention, the tray 16 slides out of only one side of the housing 14 and a handle 24 is provided to enable the user to easily pull the tray 16 out of the housing 14. In an additional aspect of the present invention, the tray 16 is almost as wide and deep as the housing 16 to maximize the amount of grease that may be collected in the tray 16.

The receptor 10 also includes a drain tube 12 that communicates with the existing pipe 26 of an exhaust unit 22, as shown in FIG. 2. A sleeve adaptor (not shown) may be provided to connect the exhaust unit's pipe 26 to the drain tube 12. The bottom of the drain tube 12 is connected to the housing 14.

During operation, grease from the exhaust unit 22 drips into the pipe 26 and then flows through the drain tube 12 into the housing 14 and collects in the tray 16. A gauge 18 is provided on the housing 14 that indicates the quantity of grease that has collected in the tray 16. When the tray 16 becomes full with grease, the user removes the tray 16 from the housing 14 to appropriately discard the grease. The grease receptor 10 also includes an automatic shut-off valve 20 that is provided on at base of the drain tube 12. When the tray 16 is removed from the housing 14, the shut-off valve 20, which is a hinged flip/slide valve controlled by a spring according to one aspect of the present invention, automatically cuts off the flow of grease from the drain tube 12 into the housing 14.

The grease receptor 10, as described above, enables the efficient collection and containment of grease from exhaust units, particularly, roof-top exhaust units. The receptor also enables the user to properly discard of the collected grease.

Certain modifications and improvements will occur to those skilled in the art upon a reading of the foregoing description. For example, the grease receptor 12 is not limited to being manufactured in any particular material, however, materials such as metals and plastics are suitable for the drain tube 12, housing 14, and tray 16. All such modifications and improvements of the present invention have been deleted herein for the sake of conciseness and readability but are properly within the scope of the following claims.