Grease Trap Clogs and How to Prevent Them

If a grease trap is left untreated, food sediments build up and become hardened into pesky immovable barriers making it nearly impossible for wastewater to flow through. This can cause a stinky, overflowing mess in your kitchen or even in the sewer line, and is incredibly unsafe and unsightly. Not to mention, the clog can attract unwanted pests like flies and cockroaches. Contact Grease Trap Perth now!

A grease interceptor works on the principle that fats, oils, and grease (FOG) float on water, while solids sink. They are designed to slow the flow of wastewater upon intake, allowing the FOGs to separate from the solids. Once the FOGs have settled, they can be removed and disposed of properly.

Keeping up with regular cleanings is the best way to prevent these nasty clogs and keep your kitchen running smoothly. Regularly cleaning and pumping your grease trap will also help prolong the life of your equipment.

If a clog does form, whether in the inlet or outlet pipe, or in the trap itself, it’s essential to call your service provider immediately. Depending on where the clog is located, a plumber may need to be called in addition to your grease trap service provider, and this can be more expensive than simply hiring your provider to clean your grease trap.

If a clog is allowed to persist, the grease can disintegrate the walls and steel of your grease trap and produce toxic hydrogen sulfur gas which creates sulphuric acid that corrodes metal and destroys concrete. This can be extremely costly to repair, and can even necessitate the replacement of your entire grease trap.

How Does a Grease Trap Work?

Many cities require grease traps for restaurants and other food preparation establishments to keep fats, oils and greases (FOG) out of sewer waste systems. Because FOG can block sewer pipes and lead to sanitary sewer overflows, which are a major health and safety risk, municipalities are often required to inspect these receptacles regularly. Grease traps, also known as grease interceptors, work by separating animal and vegetable fats from other kitchen wastewater. They consist of a receptacle with a baffle wall and a drain inlet and outlet. Most commercial kitchens use one or more of these receptacles, with smaller variations designed to connect individual sinks and larger ones installed to serve entire facilities.

When kitchen wastewater flows into the grease trap, it passes through a flow rate controller and into an inlet pipe. The receptacle then slows the water down significantly, which separates the wastewater into layers. Solids settle on the bottom, wastewater in the middle and FOG on top. The cooled and solidified FOG can then be removed manually or automatically using a pump, skimming device or other grease removal method.

During the course of operation, FOG can build up in the receptacle until it is full or overflows. As a result, it is important to clean the grease trap on a regular basis, typically every 3 months or more frequently. A dirty trap can create a foul odor and overflows that are costly and hazardous to customers and employees. FOG in the sewer system can also cause clogs, backups and other issues.

The frequency of cleaning a grease trap varies depending on how much your establishment produces. During busy seasons when more waste is washed down the drains, you will likely need to clean the trap more often to prevent clogging and avoid frequent overflows.

Once the trap is cleaned, it should be pumped and the captured grease and other materials should be disposed of properly. Be sure to partner with a service provider that provides safe and responsible disposal of the grease, as illegally dumping the material can be fined by the city.

How Do I Clean a Grease Trap?

The best way to keep your grease trap in good working condition is to clean it on a regular basis. Depending on how much your restaurant uses it, your trap should be cleaned every 1-3 months to prevent buildup. Keeping your grease trap clean can help you avoid plumbing issues, unpleasant odors, and expensive sewer cleanup services.

Begin by turning off all water sources that drain into the grease trap. Next, use a heavy-duty scraper to remove solid waste from the trap. Be sure to dispose of this waste properly according to local regulations. Once the trap is empty, flush it with a high-pressure hose to wash away any remaining debris.

Once the trap is fully cleaned, it’s important to test it for proper operation. A grease trap must be able to separate wastewater from FOGs. If the FOGs are not separated properly, they can flow downstream into your business and clog pipes or the municipal sewage system, resulting in costly clean up and repair.

Grease traps must also be inspected and pumped out on a regular basis. If your trap is leaking FOGs into the surrounding environment, or if you’re experiencing frequent odors, it may be time to invest in a new one.

Another sign that your grease trap isn’t working correctly is when the wastewater isn’t flowing freely through it. If this is happening, it’s important to contact a professional grease trap cleaning service right away.

Many companies offer a full range of professional grease trap maintenance and cleaning services. Expert technicians will visit your site and perform a thorough cleaning using specialized equipment, ensuring that even hard-to-reach areas are clean. They’ll also provide you with detailed reports and a history of your grease trap cleanings, so you can stay on top of your maintenance schedule. Then, when the time comes, you’ll be able to show your municipality proof that your grease traps are being cleaned regularly. Using a professional grease trap cleaning service can also help you avoid the hefty fines that are often associated with unclean or over-filled grease traps.

What Equipment Do I Need to Clean a Grease Trap?

When a grease trap needs to be cleaned, it is important that the proper equipment is used. Using the wrong equipment can result in costly repairs and/or fines. It is also important that the grease is disposed of properly. Failure to do so can lead to health code violations and put animals, fish, and humans at risk. If a business does not have the proper equipment to handle the disposal of grease, it may be better to hire a professional commercial plumber.

First, the grease trap must be drained. This can be done by using a bucket or small pump to remove the water from the bottom of the trap. Once this has been completed, the waste can be removed from the trap and placed in a water-tight garbage bag for disposal. It is recommended that you use a face mask during this process. Next, the trap must be inspected. It is a good idea to take photos or draw a diagram of the trap’s different parts before you begin. This will help you remember where each part goes when it comes time to re-install them after cleaning.

The grease trap must then be scoured with a steel pot scrubber and soapy water to remove any remaining solidified waste. It is also a good idea to flush the trap with clean water. This will eliminate any bad odors and help to keep any material that was knocked free but not yet removed from accumulating quickly. Once the trap is cleaned, it should be emptied and the contents disposed of by a licensed grease hauler.

While cleaning a grease trap can seem like a messy and unpleasant task, it is a necessary one for any commercial kitchen. Using the proper equipment will ensure that the trap is clean and functioning properly. If you are unsure of how to properly clean and dispose of your grease trap, it is always best to call a professional commercial plumber. They will be able to provide you with the services you need to meet your FOG management regulations and avoid fines or shutting down your business.