Grease traps can be the single biggest hassle for restaurants and commercial kitchens if not cleaned regularly. Grease trap maintenance performed on a routine schedule keeps drains flowing smoothly … preventing costly back-ups, and keeping your business up and running.
Grease traps are engineered to stop fats, oils or grease (FOG) from entering the sewer lines. Left unchecked, FOG cools, then solidifies and sticks to the insides of the pipes, trapping food particles and other debris. Over time, this solid mass continues to grow until it obstructs the flow of waste water and causes sewage to back up.
The easiest way to solve this problem is to prevent FOG from ever entering the sewer system. Grease traps can be effective in controlling FOG.
Grease Traps Provide Protection
Inside grease traps are small devices connected directly to the outgoing drains of sinks inside the restaurant. Grease traps are designed to retain FOG usually from one fixture. Because they hold small quantities of captured FOG, grease trap maintenance must be performed frequently (e.g. daily, weekly).
Most municipalities require monthly grease trap maintenance or cleaning. Depending on the trap size and your business volume, more frequent service may be necessary. Our job is to help you maintain compliance, without business interruption.
APW trained technicians are experts at grease trap maintenance and perform over 11,000 services annually.
No job is too small or too big … single-visit pumping capabilities up to 10,000 gallons. Here’s what you can expect from our step-by-step process to clean and maintain grease traps.
- Drain the tank of grease wastes (internal and external grease traps)
- Clean and inspect all baffles
- Run a thorough system test to ensure all waste water is flowing properly
- Dispose of all material pumped from the grease traps in an environmentally safe way
Companies offering to treat your grease traps with enzymes inject chemicals into the trap … and then scoop off the top layer of grease. This leaves solids at the bottom of the trap, causing them to rot and giving off a pungent, unpleasant odor that can make its way into all areas of your business or operation.
Special Note: Leaving solids in the bottom of the trap will deteriorate the grease trap, leaving you with costly repairs and replacements.
Avoid the chance of illegal disposal. Our cradle-to-grave chain of custody ensures you will remain in compliance. When you use a waste hauler that cannot guarantee the process we follow, you put yourself great risk for significant fines and expensive clean-up costs.
All food service facility owners or operators are required to document their grease management efforts, including the cleaning and repair frequency for grease removal devices and grease disposal methods.
Maintenance records should be kept on-site in an easily accessible location and must be made available for inspection and copying upon request by your local officials. You are required to keep maintenance documentation for a period of no less than three years.
Should I use biological agents, enzymes, or bugs to help maintain my grease trap?
- Don’t be fooled by companies that want to dispense a biological agent into your grease trap! It is not necessary and is costly.
- Using biological agents, enzymes, or bugs emulsifies the grease, allowing it to pass through the grease trap and into your sewer line.
- Grease then solidifies and adheres to that very line, past your grease trap.
- This will clog your outgoing sewer line, causing costly backups and major repairs.
What should I do to help keep my grease trap running at top performance?
- Schedule regular grease trap maintenance
- Make sure that food prep and wash sinks are tied into a trap
- Ensure that your trap is properly sized
- Train your staff to remove as much waste and food solids as possible from plates and pots before washing
- Maintain a cleaning log for code compliance. Here’s a log you can download and use(link)
What NOT to do
- DO NOT pour boiling water into a trap connected sink as it liquefies the FOG and forces it into the sewer pipe.
- DO NOT connect garbage disposals to a trap.
- DO NOT connect high-temperature dishwashers to a trap.
- DO NOT put chemicals, bleach, additives, or drain cleaners into a trap – these destroy naturally beneficial bacteria and risk harm to the environment.