How Often Should a Grease Trap Be Cleaned?

February 1, 2022 Published by Leave your thoughts

If you operate a restaurant, you know that fats, oils, greases and solids (FOGs) are created when you cook. Some of these will end up in the kitchen drain—and that’s where the grease trap comes in. The trap serves the function of preventing the grease from clogging the city’s sewer system. Failure to invest in this service can wreak serious havoc on your business.

Read on to find out the basics of grease trap service.

How often do you clean a grease trap?

This is dependent on how much FOGs the kitchen produces. It’s recommended for many restaurants to have their grease traps cleaned once a month, though some will require less than that and can get away with cleanings a few times a year. Restaurants, cafeterias and other commercial kitchens are recommended to set up a regular maintenance schedule—that way, you won’t miss any important cleanings.

Why grease traps are required

Environmental regulations stipulate that grease traps are installed in every establishment to prevent sanitary sewer overflow and backup. City and town codes outline how frequently these grease traps need to be cleaned and maintained. Check your codes to see regulations on grease trap design and size.

Beyond this, if you operate a restaurant, it’s a wise idea to invest in regular grease trap service. Without it, you could be dealing with nasty, rotting food smells, pipe backups and expensive repairs or replacement.

How does the grease trap fill up within a month?

The volume of FOGs your establishment creates will determine how quickly the grease trap fills up. Once it’s up to one quarter full, it should be cleaned. This is an internationally-recognized rule for maintaining grease traps. That’s because grease traps that are more than one quarter full will not function effectively. At this point, grease will begin to clean into the city’s sewer system, resulting in clogs in the sewer channels.

How to limit the number of grease trap cleanings

There are things your staff can do if you’re looking to limit how often the trap is cleaned. First, make sure that all food waste on plates, pots, pans, utensils, etc. is discarded into the trash or a compost recyclable before they’re loaded into the dishwasher.

Take preventative steps to ensure that oil spills and splatters don’t enter the drain. This is particularly important if your restaurant operates a deep fryer.

Lastly, be careful with what goes in the garbage disposal. Oils in the disposal can become emulsified, and FOGs will become solids, thereby reducing how effective the grease trap is.

Who is responsible for cleaning grease traps?

Bringing in the pros to clean a grease trap is a smart idea. You want experienced professionals who know how to keep your business up to code and running smoothly. At Cleveland Septic, we’ve done it all. We have the expertise to keep your grease traps clear of food waste and functioning as they should. Contact us right now to learn more about our services and request a free quote.

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