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Oct 09 2023

All You Need to Know About Restaurant Grease Traps

When oils and fats from our delicious dishes try to make a sneaky escape down the drain, the grease trap plays the goalkeeper, preventing any unwanted blockages in our sewage systems. For restaurants especially, understanding and maintaining these devices is essential. At Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air, we help local businesses keep their plumbing systems in quality shape long-term. Here are some tips for keeping your grease trap free and clear.

What Are Grease Traps?

Grease traps, often referred to as grease interceptors, are devices designed to separate fats, oils, and greases from wastewater. When cooking, these FOGs end up going down the drain, but they need to be intercepted before entering the wastewater system. Why? Because if they’re allowed to enter sewage lines, they can cause blockages, resulting in overflows or back-ups. Grease traps are crucial for restaurants because they ensure that wastewater remains relatively FOG-free, protecting both your premises and the larger sewage system.

Proactive Prevention Methods

The best way to deal with a problem is to stop it from happening in the first place. Here are some steps to keep your grease trap in good shape:

  • Scrape those Plates: Before dishes even touch the water, make sure to scrape off as much grease and food particles as possible. This reduces the amount of solids and grease entering the trap.
  • Mindful Pouring: Never pour cooking oils or fats down the drain. Instead, collect them in a container and dispose of them separately.
  • Regular Checks: Make it a habit to regularly check the grease trap's levels. If it's getting full, it's time for a cleaning.

Handling Overflows

If your grease trap overflows, don’t panic. Here’s what you should do:

  • Shut off Water: Prevent more water from entering the trap. This reduces the chance of further overflow.
  • Call a Professional: While it might be tempting to DIY the situation, it's always best to get in touch with a commercial plumber in Bell Gardens. They've got the tools and knowledge to tackle the mess effectively.
  • Document the Situation: Take pictures or make notes of the overflow. This can be useful for insurance purposes or for understanding how and why the overflow happened.

Keeping Your Grease Trap in Pristine Condition

For a smooth-sailing kitchen operation, maintaining your grease trap is essential. Here's how you can ensure it keeps working efficiently:

  • Routine Cleaning: Depending on the size of your restaurant and the volume of grease you produce, the frequency of cleaning might vary. However, a general rule of thumb is to clean it when it’s 25% full.
  • Professional Inspections: Annual or bi-annual inspections by a commercial plumber can help spot any potential issues before they become big problems.
  • Educate Your Staff: Make sure everyone on your team understands the importance of grease trap maintenance. The more they're aware, the better they can contribute to its upkeep.
  • Stay Updated: Grease trap technology and regulations can change. Stay informed about any updates in your area or any new best practices that might emerge.

Do You Need a Professional Plumbing Service for Your Restaurant?

While grease traps might not be the most glamorous part of running a restaurant, they're undoubtedly vital. With proper care and maintenance, they'll do their job silently and efficiently, allowing you to focus on what you do best: serving up incredible food. If your grease trap needs to be professionally serviced, call Rooter Hero Plumbing & Air today. Our friendly staff can answer your questions and can schedule an appointment for your next plumbing service.

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