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How are grease traps cleaned and maintained?

Grease traps should always be cleaned and maintained regularly. Proper cleaning and maintenance of traps prevent back-ups and ensure that drains continue to flow freely. If a grease trap goes neglected for too long, then build-up will be much more difficult to eventually remove. Additionally, a neglected trap can attract flies, cockroaches, and rodents, ultimately warding off staff and patrons. Cleaning of overflowing and backed up traps can be an expensive, multi-day ordeal and should be avoided.

Grease traps are designed to collect fats, oils, and of course grease, to prevent them from entering sewer lines. The waste that is collected from grease traps is considered “controlled waste” which means that a registered waste carrier must service the traps. Servicing the trap in-house is against the law and can have legal ramifications. It’s recommended that business owners check traps weekly and have them professionally cleaned once every 1-3 months, depending on usage.

Every time your trap is being cleaned, it’s advised to wait several minutes after the last dishwasher cycle to ensure that the waste water is cooled, and the parts have fully separated. Carefully remove the lid with a crowbar or wrench. This should be done with care to make sure that gaskets and components are not damaged. If the trap appears to be ¼ of the way full, then it is time to have the trap cleaned.

Grease sludge will be floating on top of the water in the tank because it’s less dense than water. The sludge must be bailed off of the top of the water and then the extra water can be pumped away as well. A shop vacuum typically does the trick.

To have the trap as thoroughly cleaned as possible, cleaners should remove the baffles and scrape excess material off of all components of the trap. Soap and warm water help to eliminate odor and leave components fresher before reassembly.

Lastly, running a gallon of clean water down the drain will ensure that the trap has been properly cleaned and there is no backup along the drain line. If the water flows through just fine, then the trap can be put back in place. All waste should be handled and removed by professionals. It is advised to keep records of all cleanings and servicing of grease traps.

For maintenance in between full cleanings, be wary of enzymes and solvents that advertise they can break down grease and clean your system intermittently. It’s better to leave your grease trap in the hands of experts. These chemicals can wrongfully cause pollutants to pass through traps and damage systems.

For all product, cleaning and maintenance needs, Pollution Solution is here to be the team of experts you need. Have us evaluate your system and drainage needs so that we can best service your establishment.

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