You know the old saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Well, this is particularly relevant to people who own a restaurant or commercial kitchen. Your grease trap has to stay in tip-top condition — otherwise, it’s going to become your “squeaky wheel” really quick, already full of grease in the worst way possible. That’s why grease trap maintenance is imperative to keeping your kitchen running smoothly.
Fat, oil and grease (sometimes called FOG) need to stay out of your sewer system, which is why grease traps are so essential. And if you don’t have the right kind of grease trap service to ensure yours is working, FOG can cause major problems for your septic system, including blockages and backups that can put the environment and the health of you and your employees at risk. Moreover, there are legal requirements, like the Florida Building Codes, that you need to follow — failing to do so can result in expensive fines.
Do I Really Need Professional Grease Trap Maintenance?
Simply put, yes. Absolutely. While there are a few things you can do to maintain the integrity of your grease trap, attempting to perform full grease trap maintenance yourself is just not practical or sensible if you don’t have professional experience. Frankly, if you ask us, it’s dumb. Do one thing wrong and you can cause significant damage to your grease trap, causing you more headaches down the road.
Additionally, professionals know the laws, rules and regulations you must follow. This goes for all local, state and federal guidelines. They can verify that your grease trap is up-to-code so you don’t incur any penalties.
How Often Should I Clean My Grease Trap?
Plenty of kitchen and restaurant owners wonder how often to clean a grease trap. The simple answer is: pretty often, and on a consistent basis. This is where it’s crucial to check your local regulations, as municipalities have different requirements for regular cleaning and inspection. It’s generally required every 60 to 90 days. Thus, most kitchens should schedule a quarterly or monthly grease trap service.
You’ll also need to consider how full the grease trap is — most should be cleaned when they’re at 25% capacity as a general rule. Though, again, the exact minimum requirement can differ depending on your area. As mentioned, professionals will be fully aware of this and can help you get on a schedule that will suit your needs.
What Kind of Grease Trap Service Can I Do In The Meantime?
There are several things you can do to keep your grease trap in good shape between your scheduled maintenance. Here are a few grease trap maintenance tips to keep in mind:
1. Make sure your grease trap is installed correctly.
The best way to do this is to look at your trap periodically. Unless it was just cleaned, there should be grease in it — otherwise, it might not be trapping it properly. You’ll also want to make sure that you’re using the right size grease trap for the needs of your facility.
2. Avoid using a garbage disposal.
Instead, throw as much food as you can in the trash if possible. If a garbage disposal is absolutely necessary, don’t install it in front of your grease trap. You don’t want the trap getting filled with sludge and food waste.
3. Clean off your dishes before using the dishwasher.
Again, you want to keep solid food from getting in your grease trap. Dump those plates, bowls and pans before putting them into your dishwasher.
4. Install filters on all of your drains.
This includes sinks, dishwashers and floor drains. Taking this step will help to prevent solid waste from entering your grease trap.
5. Never pour grease directly down the drain.
While this may seem like common sense, it bears noting. Even a fully working grease trap is not intended to withstand an onslaught of grease all at once. Pour your excess grease in a metal container to be recycled by the proper entities.
6. Schedule regular professional grease trap maintenance and inspection.
It might seem like we’re beating a dead horse, but that’s how important this is. In between cleanings, double-check that your next cleaning is on the books — and keep thorough records of maintenance.
What Else Should I Avoid?
Well, if we haven’t made it clear enough, don’t attempt to service the grease trap yourself. Leave that to the professionals. However, you should also stay away from commercial products that claim to break down grease in your trap, such as enzymes, solvents, bacteria, detergents and similar items. The claims these products make are usually dubious — at best, they’ll separate grease from water and move it down the pipe. More than likely, this will just clog the line or wastewater system further down.
Contact Moon Site & Septic For Professional Grease Trap Maintenance
For excellent grease trap maintenance in the South Florida area, look no further than Moon Site & Septic. We offer professional grease trap services on a schedule that works for your kitchen, including comprehensive cleanings and inspections. Don’t let your “squeaky wheel” get too much grease — contact Moon Site & Septic today!