Four Essential Grease Trap Facts

If you operate a restaurant or high traffic kitchen, chances are, you’ve already come to realize the sheer importance of your building’s grease trap (the plumbing devices used to collect fats and oils produced by cooking). Without it, all the residual fats, oils, and greases (FOG) your kitchen produces – particularly from deep fryers and the like – would likely find their way into the wastewater system. From there, FOG can enter local waterways and pose a serious risk for local wildlife.

As a result, it’s crucial to learn as much as you can about how to take proper care of your grease trap. We’ve compiled these important highlights:

  1. Locate your grease traps. Most restaurants use two types of grease traps, as is often required by local and state laws. These include an interior trap located near the dishwasher or sink to catch residual FOG, and a much larger underground trap located outside.
  2. Know why to clean your grease traps. As mentioned, without grease traps, FOG would find its way into our local waterways. However, it’s important to perform regular maintenance on grease traps as well. Failure to do so can cause your trap to fill up and can add to the layer of FOG coating the interior of your pipes – an overflow results in additional plumbing bills and potential fines from local officials.
  3. Know how often to clean your grease traps. Depending on the size of your grease trap and the amount of FOG used in your kitchen, you’ll need to schedule regular cleanings. In San Diego, this means cleaning your grease trap before it reaches 25% capacity – or approximately once quarterly. However, if your usage is higher, you’ll need to increase your cleaning frequency.
  4. Know what happens during a grease trap cleaning. Once you’ve scheduled your grease trap cleaning, technicians will arrive on-site and use a pump to remove all FOG. Then, the technician will scrape the sides to further reduce buildup. Finally, the technician will assess the fill level of your grease trap, make recommendations for more regular cleanings if levels exceeded 25%, and provide you with an official report for local officials.

If your San Diego County restaurant business is in need of grease trap cleaning, contact the professionals at Mr. Rooter San Diego. We can work with you to develop a grease trap cleaning schedule that is ideal for your operation’s continued compliance.