Grease Interceptor and Grease Trap Maintenance Tips
Whether you have a fryer or not, your commercial kitchen will likely be required by the local Health Department to install and maintain either a grease trap or a grease interceptor.
If you cook any type of meats or cheeses, even if you roast them in a skillet or on a sheet pan or serve any oil based salad dressings, your commercial kitchen will likely generate some grease. And when your dishes get washed, that grease will add up over time when it goes down your 3 compartment sinks.
Most municipalities are required to implement a best practices program to keep fats, oils, and grease (FOG) out of their sewers as part of the Federal Clean Water Act.
This has lead to increased local regulations requiring commercial kitchens to install and maintain grease traps and grease interceptors.
Although both serve a similar purpose, there are distinct differences between a grease trap and grease interceptor that commercial kitchen operators need to be aware of as well as their responsibilities to keep them running smoothly.
Differences Between Grease Traps and Grease Interceptors
Grease traps are usually smaller in size and located indoors, closer to the kitchen’s dishwashing or food preparation areas. They work by slowing down the flow of warm or hot greasy water, allowing it to cool.
As the water cools, grease and oil float to the top, and solids settle at the bottom, allowing the cleaner water to exit into the sewer system.
Grease interceptors are much larger and are usually installed outside the building. They handle a higher volume of wastewater and operate on a similar principle as grease traps.
Due to their larger size, grease interceptors can manage greasy waste water from multiple sources in a larger facility.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining grease traps and grease interceptors is not just about efficiency. It’s a legal requirement in many areas. You’ll often need to provide a cleaning log as proof of grease trap pumping and maintenance to your local municipality.
Regular grease trap cleaning prevents the accumulation of FOG, which can lead to blockages, back-ups, and unpleasant odors. Improper grease trap maintenance can result in fines and even the closure of a facility.
For grease trap maintenance, cleaning and pumping should be done every 1-3 months, depending on the volume of grease your commercial kitchen produces. The process involves removing the lid, scooping out the accumulated grease and solids, and disposing of them appropriately.
Pumping out a grease trap is a smelly, dirty job and you don’t want to do it while you’re open for business or the stench will waft out into your dining area.
It’s essential to ensure that all components of the grease trap, including the lid, are reinstalled correctly to prevent leaks and odors.
Grease interceptors require cleaning less frequently, typically every few months to a year. Due to their size and the volume of waste they can handle, it’s best to hire a professional service for cleaning grease interceptors.
These services use specialized equipment to pump out the FOG and solids, ensuring that the grease interceptor continues to function correctly.
Proactive Grease Trap Maintenance Tips
To extend the life of your grease trap or grease interceptor and reduce the frequency of cleanings, consider implementing the following practices:
- Regularly train your kitchen staff on the best practices for minimizing FOG waste, such as wiping down plates and cookware before washing.
- Use a wet waste collector to catch food solids that can clog your grease trap.
- Monitor the amount of FOG your kitchen produces and adjust your cleaning schedule accordingly.
- Inspect your grease trap or grease interceptor regularly for signs of wear and tear, and address any issues promptly to prevent more significant problems.
Prevent Grease Trap Clogs with Our Food Scrap Collector
If too many food scraps make it down the drain, clogs can form in your grease trap, forcing wastewater back up the pipes and into your sinks and kitchen. This takes time, effort, and money to clean and repair.
The Drain Strainer™ can help you avoid issues with what gets put down your 3 compartment sinks. No matter how much you focus on employee training, short cuts are always going to be taken and items are going to be put down your foodservice disposer that can harm it.
If you want to avoid issues with clogged grease traps or commercial disposers that are leaking or have burned out motors, The Drain Strainer™ is an effective and affordable commercial garbage disposal alternative that doesn’t have any sharp blades and it doesn’t require the use of water or electricity.
Invented by a former restaurant owner, The Drain Strainer™ can eliminate issues with mangled silverware or dangers from employees putting their hands down the commercial garbage disposal trying to clear out a clog.
Click here to find out more about how our wet waste collector can keep food solids out of your grease trap, so you won’t need to schedule grease trap cleaning as often.
Let The Drain Strainer™ keep your commercial sinks running smoothly by capturing food solids and avoiding any drain problems.
Regular grease trap cleaning and proactive measures can prevent plumbing issues, ensure compliance with local regulations, and contribute to a more environmentally responsible kitchen operation.
A well-maintained grease management system is not just good for your business. It’s good for the community, the environment and your reputation.