A Step-by-Step Guide on Properly Cleaning a Grease Trap

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A Step-by-Step Guide on Properly Cleaning a Grease Trap

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More than 50% of sewer blockages in the United States are caused by fats, oils, and grease(FOGs), and the problem has only grown as our eating habits have changed tremendously in recent times. All commercial food joints in Florida need to install and maintain a grease trap, a small device designed to prevent these materials from entering and clogging the sewer.

Some grease interceptor models automatically remove FOGs from your wastewater, requiring little to no regular maintenance, while others can be a bit passive and require routine cleaning.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a handy step-by-step guide to cleaning a grease trap interceptor to help you meet your legal obligations and keep your business running smoothly.

Importance of regular cleaning to ensure optimal functionality

As a restaurant owner/manager, regular grease trap cleaning is extremely important. Cleaning grease traps prevents solidified fats, oils, and grease(FOGs) from clinging to the insides of the drainage pipes, which, as a result, traps debris and other food particles.

Without proper grease interceptor maintenance, the trapped solid residue obstructs the wastewater flow and causes sewage to back up over time. Grease can also enter the public waste or septic system connected to your restaurant, leading to environmental pollution and plumbing damage.

To avoid all these problems, step-by-step grease trap care and cleaning must be done regularly for it to work effectively.

When done correctly, kitchen grease maintenance ensures proper hygiene in your plumbing system and restaurant. It also saves you tons of money on fixing clogged drains.

 Safety Precautions

When cleaning commercial kitchen traps, it’s best to avoid hot water and chemicals. Hot water can liquify the fats, oils, and grease(FOGs) and pass it into the sewer, as can any harsh chemicals. Use a multi-strain bacteria-based biological cleaning solution as they’re kind to the environment and safe for proper grease trap sanitation.

 Tools and Equipment

Obviously, when attempting a kitchen grease trap cleaning, you will require protective gear, including a mask, a plastic scrapper, rubber gloves, a bin, a bucket and scoop, and some scrubbing brushes. Some additional handy grease removal tools and equipment include,

1. Coveralls

 Wear protective gear like coveralls to protect your clothes. After all, nobody will prefer wearing their best trousers or shirts during the cleaning process.

2. Shop Vacuum

Use a shop vacuum to pump solid grease waste and liquids from the commercial kitchen trap.

3. Crowbar, scraper, and wrench

Use the crowbar to get rid of the grease trap lid. Depending on the design of your grease trap interceptor, you may have to use a wrench instead of a crowbar. Next, use the scraper to clean the tank and baffles.

Preparing the Area

Remove any obstacles, equipment, or items that obstruct access to the grease trap, which includes vacating movable objects and ensuring there is a clear pathway for the professional cleaning crew to access the trap.

Removing Grease and Debris

In this step-by-step grease trap care, the next thing to do is to remove all that accumulated grease by scooping it out and into the waiting plastic bucket.
It takes time, patience, and thorough effort.

Scraping Down

Once the bulk is removed, plenty of grease scraps will stick onto various surfaces in the kitchen trap, including the sides, pipes, and baffles.

The baffles will direct the grease away from the main outlet, allowing the water to flow away freely. As such, they get plenty of grease contact and will require a thorough cleaning. Expert grease trap cleaning and maintenance services reveal that there’s usually no need to use detergents. Physically removing the grease will be sufficient.

Cleaning Interior Surfaces

If your restaurant kitchen has a commercial wet/dry vacuum, remove the water and FOGs if your model is warranted to cope with the task. Then, remove the food waste basket and dispose of the contents in your bin.

For proper grease trap sanitation, use the bucket and scoop to remove as much of the FOG(fats, oils, and grease) layer as possible, then use the plastic scraper to remove any stubborn remnants from the kitchen trap further. Other solids at the bottom of the trap need to be removed during a deep clean service.

Inspecting and Reassembling

Next, check your grease trap interceptor for signs of damage and general wear and tear. Replace the lid and ensure any seals, clips, and screws are tight.

Put The Grease Trap On Test

Once your grease trap interceptor has been cleaned and scraped, it’s time to check that there are no jams or blockages in the drain pipes.

Test the system by running clean water through it and observing how it works. You’re good to go if the water can flow through easily. However, if the water starts backing up, you’ve got a serious problem and need a professional plumber or grease trap cleaning service like Crews Environmental to come and clear the clog in the affected pipe.

Establishing a Cleaning Schedule

Grease trap cleaning and maintenance needs to be scheduled every 1-3 months, depending on their usage. Experts at Crews Environmental suggest considering the “1/4th rule” when determining how often you should clean out your commercial kitchen grease traps.

Simply put, it must be done after reaching a quarter of their capacity; draining the trap when 1/4th full prevents the formation of odors caused by FOGs(fats, oils, grease, and solids). Furthermore, the more FOGS in the interceptor, the less effective the trap becomes. If the trap stays full for an extended period of time, it could lead to clogs in the lines or slow sink drainage.

If you’re unable to do the job, don’t hesitate to hire a professional and reliable commercial plumbing service like Crews Environmental to ensure your grease trap is in great condition all year.

Final Takeaway

Professionals at Crews Environmental provide fast and reliable grease trap cleaning and maintenance services. Without sacrificing the quality of our workmanship, we strive to get in and out quickly, quietly, and efficiently. With our highly trained crew and the right equipment, we can service any grease trap – even the most difficult-to-reach indoor ones.

Our dedicated team of experts offers,

  • Step-by-step grease trap cleaning and maintenance at reasonable pricing
  • Service that’s reliable, credible, and always on time
  • Empathetic customer service at the highest level

Since 1982, Crews Environmental has been dedicated to providing unparalleled levels of service to septic and grease trap owners in SWFL. In addition, we own and operate a residuals management facility to pre-treat and dispose of domestic waste by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Contact us at 239-329-8996 to schedule an appointment with our team today.