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The Basics of Grease Trap Maintenance

Posted by ADB Septic on October 9, 2018

Restaurant grease traps are essential to a well-functioning restaurant kitchen. They handle all of the grease that cooking your food produces, allowing your plumbing to remain clog-free. Not only are they important for the functionality of your plumbing, but they also promote a healthy and safe environment for employees and customers alike. We've compiled the most important information you need to know about grease traps and grease trap maintenance.

restaurant kitchen

Why is Grease a Problem?

You might wonder why a grease trap is even necessary. Grease is a problem for your plumbing because it can collect and create blockage in your pipes. This blockage can lead to damage of the system and cause health problems due to wastewater buildup. Additionally when a blockage gets large enough, it can cause an overflow of wastewater, which can damage not only your plumbing, but your floors and other parts of your property as well.

Who Needs a Grease Trap?

If your kitchen does not cook greasy food or only prepares small quantities of food, you might think that you can do without a grease trap. However, any commercial establishment with a kitchen is required by law to have a grease trap. Even if your food is not particularly greasy, all food preparation introduces some level of grease or oil discharge. Therefore, if you have a commercial property with a kitchen, you need a grease trap.

How Do Grease Traps Work?

Grease traps function by catching fats, oils, and grease, while separating them from wastewater and solid food. The wastewater goes through restaurants’ 3 compartment sinks and dishwashers and into the grease trap.

Grease Trap Container

The grease trap container captures wastewater that goes through the sinks and acts as a reservoir. As the wastewater cools, fats, oils, and grease harden. The grease are lighter than water and float on top. Wastewater is then forced through the crossover pipe while the greases and solid foods remain in the container.

Crossover Pipe

After the majority of solids have been removed, the water flows through the crossover pipe. This pipe provides the wastewater with a secondary filtration, removing the majority of the solids from the water. Once the wastewater is filtered through the crossover pipe, it can travel to the outgoing line.

Outgoing Line

The outgoing line is responsible for dispelling filtered water into the sewer system. It is designed to allow the grease trap to maintain its liquid level. A proper liquid level is essential to ensuring that the grease trap continues to separate solid foods, grease, and water.

How Often Should My Grease Trap be Pumped?

Your grease trap container will hold grease and solid foods that will build up over time. For this reason, it’s important to regularly pump your grease trap to remove this sludge. In order to ensure proper functioning, you should pump your trap when the food and grease takes up 25-33% of the trap. In general, restaurants pump their grease traps roughly once a week, however, there are multiple factors that will impact the frequency at which your grease trap needs to be pumped.

Size of the Trap

If you have a very large grease trap, it might need to be pumped less often because it will take longer to fill. The size of the trap will affect the frequency at which you need to pump your grease trap.

Amount of Food

The amount of food prepared in your kitchen will impact your pumping schedule as well. During a busy period or season, you’ll need to pump your grease trap more often to keep up with the grease buildup. During slower periods, you can pump your trap less frequently.

Type of Food

The type of food cooked in your kitchen can contribute to a more or less frequent pumping schedule. If your restaurant cooks greasier food frequently, it will probably need to be pumped more frequently.

Cleaning Practices

When you scrape dishes before you wash them, you will keep extra food and grease out of the drain, decreasing the frequency at which your grease trap will need to be pumped. You should also avoid pouring higher fat liquids, such as fryer oil, down the drain when possible


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 trap 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!

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Topics: Grease Trap Pumping, Restaurant Grease Traps, Grease Trap Maintenance

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