Why You Should Clean Your Grease Trap Regularly

Rotten food waste can produce terrible odors if your restaurant’s Grease Trap Perth becomes full. You need to clean it at least once every four weeks.

While it might not be pleasant, it’s one that must be done. If you don’t, a clogged sewer line and smelly kitchen could result.

Preparing for the Job

grease traps

If the trap is not cleaned regularly, the incoming and outgoing lines will become clogged with fats, oils and grease (FOG), causing water backups into sinks and drains. This could result in an expensive plumbing service bill for your restaurant. It’s possible to prevent this from happening by scheduling regular cleaning services with a licensed plumber in St. Louis, MO.

The frequency of cleaning will vary depending on the amount of food your business serves and the size of your grease trap. It’s recommended that the trap be pumped at least once every 12 months. A professional plumber will use a specialized pumping vehicle to remove all of the waste material from the grease interceptor, leaving behind only clean wastewater. This process is called the dry pump method, and it’s a popular choice for many establishments that require frequent maintenance.

When you hire a professional to clean your trap, be sure to ask them how they will do so and what tools they will need. Some plumbers prefer to work with a liquid-dispensing machine, while others like to clean the trap with hot water and scrapers. The temperature of the water will help FOG float to the surface, making it easier to scoop out and dispose of.

You may also want to consider hiring a company that recycles the FOG they remove from your trap. This helps to keep these items out of lakes, rivers and oceans, where they can cause major pollution.

Another advantage of a regularly cleaned grease trap is that it will save you money in the long run. Over time, FOG can clog sewer lines and cost your restaurant thousands of dollars in repairs. A clogged trap will also increase the risk of unappetizing odors that will deter customers from dining in your establishment.

By educating your kitchen staff about the importance of cleaning and maintaining your grease trap, you can minimize the risk of costly problems in the future. Instruct employees to place drain covers on all sinks, scrape dishes before rinsing and avoid pouring food down the drain. These simple practices can greatly reduce the amount of FOG that makes its way into your kitchen’s grease trap.

Cleaning the Trap

A grease trap is designed to collect fats, oils and grease (FOG) and prevent them from entering the sewer system. But if not cleaned and pumped regularly, these materials can accumulate and lead to clogged drains and lines in your restaurant or business, and foul smells that could turn away customers.

To avoid these problems, your restaurant or business should set up a regular grease trap cleaning schedule. A professional service will come to your facility and empty out your grease trap when it gets full, which is usually every 1-3 months. By doing this, your restaurant or business will avoid odors and save money on expensive repairs and replacements for kitchen equipment.

During the cleaning process, shut off the power to the trap and drains attached to it. Then, put on rubber gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from splashes or potential chemical contact. You should also wear a face mask to avoid the unpleasant smell of decomposing food waste and grease.

Once you have your equipment ready, begin the cleaning process by using a bucket to scoop out waste from the grease trap. Place the waste in a water-tight garbage bag for proper disposal. Then, use a steel pot scrubber and soapy water to clean the trap’s lid, sides, baffles, and internal parts. For hard-to-reach areas, you can use a shop vacuum to suck out waste and debris.

It’s important to use a non-toxic cleaning solution when emptying and cleaning a commercial grease trap. Adding hot water or chemicals to the trap can liquify FOG and pass it into the sewer, which can cause blockages and sewage backups in your restaurant or business. Instead, choose a multi-strain bacteria-based biological cleaner that’s safe for your workers and the environment.

It’s also important to have two buckets available during the cleaning process. One bucket will hold the waste, and the other will contain the cleaning solution. By using separate buckets, you’ll ensure that your cleaning solution doesn’t mix with the grease in your trap. Then, once the cleaning is complete, your professional service can take away the waste and dispose of it properly.

Disposing of Waste

Leaving grease traps too long between cleaning can cause them to fill with solid grease, rendering them ineffective. This can result in costly sewage backups and fines from local health and environmental authorities. It is also important to note that a blocked grease trap will smell foul. Regular maintenance will help to reduce this.

To begin the cleaning process, remove the lid and sides of the trap to expose the baffles and walls inside. Scoop up any sludge and debris and place in a water-tight garbage bag for disposal later. Scrub and rinse the entire trap with a steel pot scrubber and soapy water. Once clean, flush the screens and parts with hot water to remove any remaining residue.

Grease traps must be cleaned at least every four to six weeks. This helps to ensure that they separate FOGs from wastewater and prevent them from entering the sewer system. The length of time between cleanings can be increased by using a biological grease treatment solution. This product combines non-pathogenic bacteria with nutrients and enzymes that break down FOGs and aid in trap performance.

Another method of reducing the frequency of cleanings is to install an automatic grease trap. These units are more expensive upfront but can be a significant money-saver in the long run by reducing maintenance and cleaning costs. It is always best to consult with a professional when purchasing an automatic trap.

A professional knows the laws, rules, and regulations that must be followed to avoid penalties. They can also recommend the best type of grease trap to suit your kitchen and budget.

In addition to regularly cleaning your grease trap, it is important to teach all staff members proper food waste disposal practices. This will help to decrease the amount of waste that enters the trap and minimize the need for cleanings. Educating your staff will also help to keep the kitchen odors down and the drains flowing smoothly. Finally, always maintain detailed paperwork about grease trap cleanings including when they were cleaned and by whom. This documentation can help protect your restaurant from hefty fines.

Reassembling the Trap

A clogged grease trap can lead to wastewater overflows and foul, smelly odors. The best way to avoid a clog is to clean the trap regularly. A reputable company that manages commercial cleaning will be able to help you create a maintenance schedule for your grease trap that meets local regulations.

Start by removing the semi-solid waste layer that accumulates at the top of the liquid surface in your grease trap. Use a large scoop to carefully remove the waste and place it in a water-tight trash bag for disposal. Next, scrape the walls and baffles of the trap to thoroughly remove any adhered grease build-up. It is important to do this at a time when no wastewater is flowing through the trap.

After a thorough scraping, wash the lid, sides, and other components of the trap with soap and room temperature water. Scrub well, using a steel pot scrubber to reach the most stubborn spots. Be sure to scrub down the inlet and outlet pipes as well. Once the trap is clean, use a shop vacuum to suck out any lingering waste particles and obnoxious odors from hard-to-reach places.

Once the trap is empty, plug up the inlet with a stainless steel machine screw and washer backed by rubber gasket material. This will prevent any leaking from the grease trap after it is back in service.

Then, replace the grease trap cover and connect the inlet pipe to the outlet pipe. Be sure to inspect the gasket that seals the lid of the trap for any wear and tear and replace it if necessary. If the trap is located outdoors, dig a hole for it as close to your wastewater discharge pipe as possible to reduce costs and installation time.

Grease interceptors and traps are an integral part of your kitchen’s sewage system. They are the first line of defense against FOGs from entering the sanitary sewer system, and keeping them clean is critical for your restaurant’s operation. It is also essential to train employees on handling food waste and how to use sink drain covers, and to encourage them to scrape food waste into the trash before rinsing plates.