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How to Properly Clean a Grease Trap

Grease traps are amazing tools that help keep your establishment smelling great, so your customers keep coming back. They’re also often the biggest annoyance that restaurants face, especially if you forget to clean them on a regular basis.

Proper grease trap maintenance can keep your restaurant running smoothly, and a commercial plumbing service can ensure you don’t get any of the smelly, expensive backups that occur when you don’t catch the fats, oils and grease before they entire your sewer line.

Where Are Grease Traps Located?

Commercial grease traps are typically located outside of your main building. Look in the ground near the walls by your kitchen’s dishwashing station — they look similar to a manhole or a septic tank cover. If your commercial kitchen has a basement, you may also find your grease trap down there so it stays away from the frost.

How to Clean Your Grease Trap

There are few different ways to clean a grease trap yourself, depending on the size, location and type of grease trap. By setting a weekly grease trap maintenance schedule, your establishment will run safely and efficiently at all times.

First, you’ll want to wait until your restaurant is closed for the day and all items have been cleaned. You can also consider cleaning your grease trap early in the morning before you start your opening procedures. No matter when you decide to do it, follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Remove the lid from the grease trap. Remove it slowly and gently, so you don’t damage any of the gaskets on the lid.
  2. Stick a ruler into the grease trap and note how many inches of grease are in the trap. This needs to be written down and recorded in a FOG report provided by the EPA.
  3. Remove the water from your grease trap, either with a bucket or a small pump. Set this water aside.
  4. Start scooping out the grease from your trap. You can use another bucket, a shovel or other heavy duty scooper.
  5. Scrape the bottom, sides and lid to remove any excess grease. This will help you prevent quick buildups from debris you’ve knocked loose but haven’t yet removed.
  6. Scrub the same parts of your trap and flush the screens out.
  7. Pour the water from Step 3 back into your grease trap.
  8. Properly reinstall any removed parts and replace the lid.

Grease Trap Maintenance: Is It Time for a Replacement?

One of the best ways to know it’s time to replace your grease trap is when your local municipality requests an inspection because of grease leaking into the local water system — if possible, you should maintain your grease trap before it gets this bad. You should also consider replacing the system if it constantly backs up, stops filtering grease out of your water, becomes too hard to clean or causes smells in your kitchen.

Whether you need a cleaning, service, disposal of grease at licensed facilities or a full replacement of your grease trap system, Mr. Rooter of Oneida offers reliable commercial plumbing services. Contact us today!