Grease is a natural side-effect of cooking and food preparation. Fats, oils and grease are not to be taken down the drain as they can easily clog drains and cause blockage in drains. Grease traps separate grease and solid waste from wastewater to keep your kitchen running smoothly. With all their hard work, it’s no surprise that cleaning a grease trap can be daunting—and if you’re not strong enough, it might turn your stomach.
However, it is necessary to clean the grease trap and maintain it. Without it, kitchen emergencies can occur, and you may have more problems than you started.
What is a grease trap?
A grease trap is a plumbing unit that utilizes mist that does not mix with water. In this context, “fog” does not refer to a thick cloud of small water droplets suspended at or near the Earth’s surface.
Instead, FOG is an abbreviation for fats, oils and grease found in restaurants and commercial kitchens. Each is significantly less dense than water, allowing it to float to the surface and be easily removed; “easily” here is a relative adverb (see infinitive).
Grease trap location
Commercial grease traps are usually located outside the main building. Look at the floor near the wall next to the kitchen sink: it looks like a maintenance hole or septic tank cover. If your commercial kitchen has a basement, you can also find an above-ground grease trap to protect it from frost.
Working on Grease trap
Grease traps are designed to slow the flow of wastewater and cool it. This causes the mist to escape from the suspension and enter the water, which can be skimmed off. Similar to skimming fat from the top of (new) chicken soup.
Cleaning a Grease Trap: Step by Step
Grease traps are designed to do exactly what their name suggests: capturing fatty oils, grease, and sludge and separating the oil from the water. The material passes through a capture system, giving it time to cool and freeze, and then the water flows into the drain as normal. The system must be looked after regularly to clean the grease trap effectively. Learning and knowing how to clean a grease trap will save your company a lot of money if done correctly.
1: Remove the cover
Use a pry bar to remove the grease trap cover. If the trap has been opened for a while, opening it may take some effort. Note: There are gaskets around the grease trap that are easily damaged; you don’t want to spend more time, effort, and money replacing them.
2: Check for traps
After removing the grease trap cover, take a moment to assess the condition of the grease trap. Check the gasket and check for signs of damage or leaks. If the trap is made of metal, check for signs of rust or corrosion. If a problem arises, schedule an inspection by an expert as soon as possible.
After carefully inspecting the trap, insert a measuring stick or wooden dowel into the trap until it contacts the bottom, ensuring the grease and oil outline the measuring stick.
3: Remove grease
Once you’ve assessed the trap’s condition, use a small mop bucket to remove and treat the standing water on top of the tank.
After draining the water, cover the trash can with a heavy-duty plastic bag and use a small bucket to collect debris from the trap and place it in the bag. After you have removed all grease, oil, and other debris from the trap, use a bucket to scrape the lid and sides of the trap.
4: Clean the Trap
After removing all debris from the trap, wash the sides, parts, and lid using steel pan cleaner with some dish soap and warm water. This will remove excess grease trapped in the trap and help eliminate bad odours. Finally, use a garden hose and nozzle to remove debris inside the trap.
5: Replace the grease trap cover
After cleaning the grease trap, reinstall the grease trap cover. After replacement, rinse the trap thoroughly with hot water for 15 minutes.
6: Properly reinstall the removed parts
If the grease trap must be removed, reinstall the removed parts and replace the cover properly. A grease trap must be tight and airtight to work properly, so don’t squeeze anything into it if it doesn’t look right.
Finding proper grease trap maintenance
Restaurants and commercial kitchens require grease traps to capture and separate mist from wastewater entering municipal sewers. Failure to properly maintain your grease trap and attempting to use harsh degreasers can result in unpleasant odours, clogs, or overflows. A kitchen disaster can severely hamper your operations or even lead to a temporary closure, damaging your restaurant’s reputation and brand image.
Advantages of Plumbing Grease Traps
Although not usually required in homes, a kitchen grease trap can be a good addition to any sink drainage system. With a grease trap, you can rest assured that you protect your drain or sewer system from damage or blockage caused by mist buildup. However, residential grease traps require cleaning and maintenance to function properly.