Your grease trap is one of the most undervalued tools in your restaurant kitchen. Grease traps facilitate proper waste disposal, making them an essential part of a properly functioning commercial kitchen. For this reason, proper grease trap maintenance is an important practice in commercial kitchens to ensure an efficient and safe work environment. We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you perform proper maintenance on your restaurant grease trap!
1. Check for Proper Installation
If you plan to use a garbage disposal in your commercial kitchen, it’s imperative that your installation company installs the garbage disposal after the grease trap. If the garbage disposal is installed first, your grease trap can fill with ground food sludge, which will compromise the functionality of the grease trap. You should also verify that the grease trap is the proper size for your needs before it’s installed. The amount of food your kitchen cooks, the type of food, your average number of customers, and the number of employees washing dishes will all help determine the proper size grease trap for your kitchen.
2. Look for Grease in Your Trap
When your grease trap is first installed, you should look for grease. After using your trap for a few days, there should be a buildup of grease in your trap. Little to no grease in your trap can indicate improper installation. If you notice grease pooling somewhere other than your trap, there might be a leak. If grease is not gathering properly in your trap, you should call in a professional to reinstall the trap. It’s important to verify proper installation early on to avoid any issues with your trap later on.
3. Install Strainers
You should install strainers in your sinks, dishwashers, and floor drains to prevent large solids from entering grease traps. When solids enter your grease trap, they can create clogs that will prevent it from functioning properly. These issues can lead to serious and even permanent damage. For this reason, you should avoid allowing big pieces of food, rubber gloves, silverware, towels, or any other large items from entering your grease trap. Installing strainers is the best way to catch these solids to prevent them from entering your grease trap.
4. Avoid Pouring Grease Down the Drain
When you pour grease directly down your drain, it can lead to clogs in your pipes and your grease trap as well as an overworked grease trap. To avoid these issues, you should avoid pouring grease down the drain. Instead, pour grease in a separate container. Your grease trap pumping company will collect this excess grease when they pump out your trap. Be sure to use a metal bucket or a container that is made of a material other than plastic, as plastic will melt when it has hot grease inside it.
5. Dispose of Food Waste
Avoiding pouring grease down your drain is a good start, but you should really try to prevent most things from going down your drain. Although some food scraps will go down your drain and enter your grease trap, you should always scrape off dishes into the trash to minimize the amount of food that goes down the drain. Avoid using the garbage disposal when you can and be sure to frequently empty out the strainers in your drain. Although food will inevitably enter your grease trap, the less food that enters, the better.
6. Pump Your Grease Trap Regularly
In order to ensure that your grease trap is properly maintained, it’s important to set up a regular maintenance cycle with a professional grease trap pumping company. The company will help you determine the proper frequency for your kitchen, but the rule of thumb is that your grease trap should be pumped when it’s ¼ full of FOGS (fats, oils, grease, and solids). When your trap is too full of grease, it will not function properly. Therefore, pumping your grease trap regularly is essential to ensuring that it performs optimally.
7. Have a Professional Drain Cleaning
Sometimes the plumbing in your restaurant can get clogged with grease, food buildup, and more. When these clogs occur, you should call for professional drain cleaning services. A professional drain cleaner will hydro jet your pipes, blasting them completely clean, completely stripping their walls. A professional drain cleaning will help keep your pipes clear. Clogs can interfere with the functioning of your grease trap, leading to expensive maintenance issues. For this reason, it's important to have professional drain cleanings to avoid clogs and expensive maintenance issues.
8. Avoid DIY Maintenance
When there are issues with your grease trap, you might be tempted to attempt to fix them yourself to avoid spending money on repairs. However, attempting to perform maintenance yourself can lead to unintended damage that will lead to even costlier repairs. Professionals have the right tools for the job and are highly trained to handle maintenance issues. For this reason, if there are any issues with your grease trap, you should call in the professionals to avoid costly repairs.
ADB Septic | CT Grease Trap Services
It's likely that you don't often think about your grease traps, which is more than understandable considering the other priorities involved with running a successful restaurant. That's why our team at ADB Septic is more than happy to take care of your grease grap cleaning for you.We offer a wide variety of services including regular pumping and service contracts, accurate record keeping and reporting, hi-pressure jetting, and 24-hour emergency service. Whatever your grease trap needs are, we can help!