Once something disappears down the kitchen drain, do you ever think about it again? It’s often out of sight out of mind until the sink starts backing up.
According to the EPA, there are between 23,000 and 75,000 sanitary sewer backups every year. One of the most common causes is blockages from fats, oils, and grease.
The good news is, grease traps prevent most of those sticky (and smelly) situations. But they only work if you understand how they work and do regular maintenance.
Read on to learn what grease traps do, when you need one, and how to keep it in working order.
What Is a Grease Trap?
A grease trap, or grease interceptor, is a type of plumbing container that traps fats, oils, and grease (FOG). It keeps grease out of the local water supply. It’s good for the environment and it takes some of the burden off of water treatment plants.
They’re designed for commercial kitchens and restaurants. Home kitchens don’t create enough FOG to need a trap. That said, you should never pour grease down the drain at home because it’s bad for your plumbing and the environment.
How Do They Work?
A grease trap is like a holding tank for your kitchen waste water. All the used water in the kitchen passes through it.
Inside the box, the grease floats to the top and the water sits in the bottom of the tank. Once the grease has been removed, the water travels to the sewer system. The grease stays in the tank until you have it cleaned by a service provider.
You’ll usually have two traps, one inside and one outside. You’ll find the small interior trap near the dishwasher or sink. Outside, there’s a much larger secondary trap that holds a lot more grease.
The Commercial Requirement for Grease Traps
Grease traps aren’t a suggestion, most states and cities require all restaurants and commercial food businesses to have one. Most commercial kitchens need to have one to get a certificate of occupancy.
If you don’t have a trap or keep it in working order, you could fail your restaurant inspection and face a hefty fine. In New York, the fine is $10,000 each day the restaurant grease trap isn’t working.
Tips for Maintaining a Grease Trap
The most important step in maintaining a grease trap is to have it cleaned regularly. Depending on the size of your kitchen and the kind of food you serve, you might need to have it cleaned monthly or quarterly.
During a grease trap cleaning, the tech can tell you if you need to have a plumber come and make repairs. If you don’t it could lead to expensive overflows or repairs.
Make sure to train your employees on how to get rid of food and deal with kitchen grease. You can also use sink strainers to keep out large food particles. You should also never use the trap to get rid of fryer grease.
Hire Grease Trap Installers Today
Grease traps keep oil and fat out of the water supply and keep you in compliance with your municipality. Plus, maintaining your trap will prevent expensive fines and repairs.
Whether you need grease trap installers or repairs on your current system, All Clear Plumbing can help. Contact us today to book an appointment.