What Every Restaurant Owner Should Know About Grease Traps

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Keeping your restaurant grease traps clean with allen's tri-state.

If you have just opened a restaurant, you should know the location of every grease trap and have a cleaning and maintenance schedule. Grease traps are areas in your kitchen in which grease becomes easily stuck. Failure to clean the grease traps on a regular basis could leave you standing ankle-deep in waste. If a backup happens during a rush, it could cost you much more than repair and replacement. The following will help you know how to maintain your grease traps and prevent expensive accidents.

Understanding grease traps

An integral part of most municipal codes is the inspection and removal of grease traps. Essentially, any facility that produces fatty waste that enters the sewage system from drains near sinks, food prep areas, and other compartments are required to install these traps. These capture the grease before it enters the public sewer system.

When grease cools, it turns into a waxy, hard substance that adheres to many different surfaces. The waste builds up and eventually causes massive blockages in sewage systems that can result in thousands of dollars of repairs. Restaurants and bars are large producers of grease, so they are required to capture it before it enters the public sewer system. You should consult your local city or county code to ascertain the size, location, and placement of grease traps for your establishment.

A grease trap works using two chambers to capture the waste. The first chamber holds the grease, allowing it to cool and solidify. Eventually, the material floats to the top of the trap, allowing water and other non-grease liquids to pass into the sewage system. Tubes connect the two chambers together. Water from the first chamber is transferred into the second chamber, which leaves the greasy substances behind.

Grease traps are designed to hold a certain amount of material before they require cleaning. You should come up with a regular inspection and cleaning schedule to prevent build-up in your grease traps. Failure to clean your traps could result in the scenario described above.

Preventative measures

To help your restaurant come up with a maintenance schedule, here are a few tips. First, locate your grease traps and mark them. Ideally, you should add them to the regular list of cleaning steps that every kitchen should have. Second, inspect your traps. Third, review the documentation regarding your grease traps to know roughly when they should be cleaned. Finally, come up with a regular cleaning schedule to remove grease once your traps are about one-quarter full. Most standard traps need to be cleaned every three months. However, the schedule depends on your business, the food you serve, and how busy your restaurant is.

How to deal with grease overflows

If one of your grease traps overflows, there are several things you can do to fix the issue. First, prevent any more water from flowing into your drains, and thus your traps. Second, call a commercial plumbing company to inspect your traps and schedule removals. Third, if you have an overflow, use cat litter to absorb the waste. Fourth, never hose greasy water into the public sewer system You could already be facing fines for the overflow, and you could exacerbate those fines by hosing grease into the sewers. Finally, you need to schedule a deep cleaning of the sewer lines beneath your building to ensure nothing greasy enters the public plumbing.

Contact professional commercial plumbers to maintain grease traps

Sewer overflows pose a health risk to your employees and your customers. Overflows can bring in fouled water, which carries disease and could leave your business contaminated. It is critical that you prevent overflows. Hiring a commercial plumbing company can keep your restaurant working in top condition. Allen’s Tri-State Mechanical Inc. in Amarillo, Texas serves clients all over Texas and the Tri-State area. If you would like to schedule assistance for any commercial plumbing issue, call us at (806) 376-8345 or Contact Us for more information.