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Running a restaurant serving fried foods, from french fries to high-end lobster dishes, means maintaining a grease trap in the kitchen. Very few counties throughout the country let restaurants release fat, oil, and grease into the sewers. If you are trying to cut costs and want to spend a little less on grease trap cleaning, follow these maintenance tips to keep the trap running smoothly between visits.
Redirect Cold Water
Hot grease and fat flows through the drainage system quickly and completely. If your grease trap has a sink drain emptying into to it too early, the oils flowing through the pipes and trap cool off and build up to create clogs. Hire a plumber to re-route your cold water drains away from the trap so you don't have to call for full line cleaning every month or two.
Keep Trash Out
Grease traps are only temporary holding chambers for fats and grease. When your employees dump food particles and other solid waste into the drain for the trap, the displacement causes oil to flush into the rest of the sewage lines. Ask your employees to fish out food particles with a mesh sieve and dump them in the trash instead of letting it fill up the trap.
Other ways to protect the trap from solids include
Order Deep Cleaning
While basic pumping and cleaning should occur at least four times a year, you also need a deeper cleaning visit from a grease trap service technician at least once a year. The team uses pressure washers to blast stuck on fat and food deposits. Many services include cleaning of the sewer mains for the restaurant to make sure any splashed fat doesn't clog up the entire flow.
Plan to get the deep cleaning done on a day when the restaurant is already closed. It can take a few hours to complete the scrubbing and disinfect the area around the grease trap opening. Your kitchen crew can't work while the cleaning is happening, so give everyone a day off instead.
Stick to a Schedule
Most areas require a professional grease trap cleaning at least once per quarter, so make appointments with your local crew every three months. Meeting all the deadlines is actually the best way to reach a full three months between maintenance visits. If you skip too many visits, you may find your system needing two or three repeat cleaning visits to get all the clogs out.
When water mixed with fats flows into the trap, it naturally separates into three layers:
Flushing too much hot water down the drain into the trap in an attempt to clean it will backfire and flush the fat layer into the sewers, where it cools down and sticks to the pipe. Pour grease and oil slowly to avoid splashing and stirring the layers in the trap and enjoy fewer problems with the trap and drain pipes.
Protect your grease traps to control your maintenance and repairs costs from spiraling out of control. An inexpensive restaurant grease trap cleaning visit every few months prevents the need for a brand new trap after just a few years of use.