Grease Trap Services

Grease Trap Services and interceptors protect your restaurant from sewer blockages, backups, and fines. However, maintaining them regularly can be daunting without the right equipment.

The best way to avoid expensive grease trap issues is to work with a reputable service provider to place you on a schedule compliant with local regulations. They can also educate your staff on properly handling food waste and avoiding pouring grease down drain lines.

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The type of food your establishment serves plays a big role in how frequently you need to have your grease trap and under-sink grease interceptor pumped out. A coffee shop that doesn’t serve fried foods, BBQ, or heavy creams produces less FOG and needs to service its trap/grease interceptor less frequently. Conversely, a restaurant emphasizing fried foods will have more waste and need their traps to be pumped more regularly.

Most cities have regulations regarding how full your grease traps and interceptors can get before they need to be pumped out. The general rule is that your grease traps should be pumped when they reach a quarter of their capacity. The more a grease trap fills up, the less effective it becomes, leading to unpleasant odors and slow sink drainage in other drain lines.

If you need to figure out how often to have your grease traps and interceptors pumped, it’s best to partner with a reputable service provider. Not only will they ensure that your grease traps are serviced properly (and in compliance with local laws), but they can also help you avoid costly downtime and other problems by catching issues before they escalate.

A professional will typically use a pump to remove the contents of your trap and scrape the sides for any accumulated FOG material. They will then measure the content to determine how much FOG has accumulated since the last cleaning. Depending on your city’s rules and regulations, they will either haul away the FOG material or return the separated gray water to your trap.

Another important thing to note is that while it may seem cheaper to clean your grease traps less often in the short term, you’ll pay for it in the long run. Decreased cleaning frequency increases the risk of foul odors and can even lead to clogged drain lines and sanitary sewer overflows that put you at risk for fines from your city. Plus, when your grease traps are cleaned sparingly, they also lose their effectiveness at keeping sewage from backing up into your kitchen.

Restaurants, hotels, and food-processing establishments are subject to regular inspections to ensure that health and fire safety standards and waste management policies are being adhered to. Grease traps for commercial kitchens are crucial to keeping FOG (Fats, Oils, and Greases) from flowing into sewer systems where they can cause blockages, clog pipes, sewage backups, and damage water treatment plants, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. Because of this, local authorities require grease traps that are adequately sized and regularly inspected in restaurants, hotels, and food-processing establishments.

During a grease trap inspection, inspectors will look to see that the trap is free of cracks in the trap walls that could lead to leaks, that the trap isn’t being used for anything other than its intended function, and that it is properly sized. The flow restrictor must also be inspected for signs of wear and tear, as this can result in it malfunctioning when the trap gets full. If this happens, it’s essential to have a septic professional replace the plastic flow restrictor with one made of solid metal, as this type of component is less likely to rust and break down over time.

The size of the grease trap will also be inspected, as this can affect how quickly the grease is discharged into the sewer system. The trap must be large enough to capture and retain FOG until it is cleaned but not so large that the resulting hydrogen sulfide gas can escape into the business facility and cause odor problems.

Another key consideration is that the inspector will want to ensure that all of the kitchen sinks, floor drains, and other fixtures are draining into the grease traps as they should. This can be tested using safe, biodegradable dye to see which fixtures are flowing into the traps and which are not. A septic professional can help you perform this test before the inspector arrives to save you time and money.

FOG left too long in a grease trap can build up and cause a clog, slowing wastewater drainage and producing foul odors. The best way to prevent this is to have your grease traps cleaned based on what’s known as the “1/4 rule,” or cleaning them when they reach about one-fourth of their capacity.

While removing the jumble of fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from your grease trap isn’t a pleasant task, it is necessary. Without regular cleaning, your FOG can harden and block the incoming or outgoing lines, leading to a clogged drain or overflow. Clogged lines can lead to costly plumbing issues for your business, while overflows can result in fines from your city.

Regular grease trap pumping also helps prevent foul odors that can irritate your customers and create a health hazard for your staff. Rancid odors can be so unpleasant that they will deter your customers from visiting your establishment again, and they can cause nausea in some people. Professionally cleaned traps eliminate odors and help your restaurant remain welcoming for patrons and employees alike.

Hiring professionals to clean and pump your trap is important because they have the equipment and tools needed to do the job right. They use powerful trucks equipped with special grease-disposal pumps specially designed to handle your trap’s thick, greasy material. Professionals know how to use these specialized trucks safely and efficiently, which saves you time and money in the long run.

A reputable company will provide you with an accurate grease trap quote before beginning the cleaning process. The cost will vary based on the size of your trap, how often it’s pumped out, and your service schedule with the company. Larger establishments with high usage may need to have their trap pumped out monthly, while smaller restaurants with lower usage can get away with having their trap pumped twice a year.

When hiring a professional to clean and pump your trap, be sure that your municipality licenses them to do so. You want to work with a professional who understands the importance of adhering to all applicable regulations and maintaining records of all services provided. Ask your technician to complete a post-cleaning FOG report and provide a copy.

Once the grease trap is pumped, the FOG is taken to a specialized facility for processing and disposal. Many municipalities have designated sites for this type of waste, so choose a licensed company to haul and dispose of grease trap waste.

Another key aspect of grease trap maintenance is ensuring that the captured fats, oils, and grease are removed from the establishment properly and safely. This is where the experience and expertise of professional services come in handy. Attempting to clean and dispose of grease yourself can result in heavy fines. Therefore, partnering with a service provider who will handle your grease trap disposal following municipal regulations is important. Having your waste removal company maintain records and manifests of your FOG removal is also a good idea, as they should be readily available during municipal inspections.

During the grease removal process, a trained technician will use a specially designed hose with powerful jets to wash away and remove the FOG from the walls of your trap. This method is known as line jetting and is one of the most important preventative maintenance measures you can take to ensure your traps last long.

The resulting grease is collected in a specially designed truck and taken to an authorized waste facility for disposal. This prevents the FOG from entering sewer lines and clogging them. You should avoid using a garbage disposal attached to any sink that drains into your grease trap. These disposers chop and grind scraps into smaller pieces that can easily cause a clog.

Using paper towel dispensers in your kitchen is a good idea, as this will encourage employees to dry wipe any grease and food from pots, pans, and frying equipment before wiping them down. Using strainer baskets in your sinks is also a good idea to catch any excess food that goes down the drain. Consider having a ventilation system with filters to capture airborne grease and oil.

While many commercial kitchens may be tempted to save money by attempting to handle their grease trap maintenance, it could be more dangerous and ill-advised. In addition to the dangers of working with high temperatures and toxic chemicals, many complex record-keeping and sanitation requirements must be adhered to. Trying to keep up with these regulations can be difficult for even the most experienced and skilled kitchen staff, so it is always best to leave this job to the professionals.