Grease traps are a necessity for every restaurant and commercial kitchen. Specifically designed to prevent fats, oils, and grease from getting into the sewer lines and moving into your septic tank, they help to keep your septic system in tip-top shape. But when they aren’t cleaned out properly, grease traps can be a major hassle for restaurants and commercial kitchens. To avoid the headache of dealing with a clogged grease trap, be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.
- Do regular inspections. Remember, your grease trap is the most important line of defense between your kitchen and your septic system, helping to prevent fats, oils, and grease from entering the sewer line and getting into the septic tank. Fats, oils, and grease, sometimes known as FOG, will solidify if allowed to travel into the sewer lines, causing an obstruction that could result in a sewage backup. Not only is this unhygienic, it could also shut down your restaurant. Therefore it is critical to do regular inspections to ensure that your grease trap is working as it should be.
- Set a routine maintenance and cleaning schedule. Your grease trap needs to be maintained and cleaned. Ideally you want to clean out your grease trap at least once a month, to prevent any blockages and keep it in good working order. Depending on the size of your trap and the size of your restaurant, it may even need to be cleaned more frequently. Remember to always keep a comprehensive record of all cleaning and maintenance. When it doubt, check with a professional.
- Train your staff on proper food disposal. To keep your grease trap in good working order, you should instruct your staff to remove as much waste and food solids as possible from all plates, bowls, pots, and pans before washing them. This will help to ensure that solids aren’t caught up in the grease trap. And remember, you should never, ever connect your garbage disposal to the trap. The trap is for FOG, not all food waste.
- Make sure all sinks are connected to the trap. All sinks in your restaurant’s kitchen should be connected to the grease trap, including food prep and wash sinks.
- Avoid putting chemicals, bleach, additives, or drain cleaners down the trap. If there is some kind of obstruction in your grease trap, don’t try to rectify the problem by pouring a chemical down it. This will destroy the trap’s natural bacteria, and will likely do more harm than good. Instead, call a professional for help.