Blog, Commercial, Constant Flow Maintenance Program, Grease Trap, Information, Maintenance, Prevention
Grease Trap Maintenance 101
Commercial grease interceptors, also known as a grease trap, are commonly found in restaurant kitchens, hospital kitchens, grocery store prep areas, and other food service establishments. If you have worked in one of these locations, you may be familiar with what a grease interceptor is. Or you may have even worked in one of these environments and not known there was a grease interceptor there at all. Whatever your background with grease interceptors may be, here is a complete guide for everything you need to know!
What is a Grease Interceptor/Trap?
Grease interceptors can go by many different names such as grease trap, grease pit, or even by their manufacturer names. Some businesses have an interior grease interceptor that is connected to a sink in a food prep area. These traps can be located above or below the ground and are made of metal or plastic. Because plastic doesn’t break down like metal does over time, we tend to replace grease traps that have rotted with plastic options so they last longer.
Some businesses also have exterior grease tanks which are located below ground. These tanks can be made of concrete and are often much larger than an interior trap. Exterior grease interceptors can hold anywhere from 2,000 to over 10,000 gallons of waste!
How are Grease Traps Used?
The purpose of a grease interceptor is to do just that, intercept grease! The interceptor has baffles, or walls, inside the trap that help to separate fats, oils, and grease (also known as FOG) from the water as it moves from the sink through the drain lines. Preventing grease from entering your drain lines is extremely important to keep your lines clear of any obstructions.
Servicing a Grease Trap
One of the most important things you can do is have your grease trap serviced on a regular basis. It is important that you hire a professional company to do this for you so that you know the grease is being disposed of properly.
So how do you tell when a grease trap needs to be cleaned? You should not wait until your grease trap is full as that can cause major issues to your plumbing. Allowing grease to build up in the trap overtime makes it so the grease has nowhere to go except for into your drain lines.
Ignoring your grease trap could lead to a dreaded “fatberg”, similar to what happened in Baltimore, Maryland. To avoid a fatberg, make sure to have your grease trap serviced regularly.
Wind River Environmental trains our technicians to fully inspect the grease trap at every service. This way we can recommend the best service frequency for each individual customer, whether it’s quarterly or monthly. We also consider local regulations which sometimes mandate a certain frequency. No worry trying to remember when your next service is due, Wind River can put you on an automatic frequency and call you in advance before we arrive.
What’s involved in a Grease Trap Service?
Wind River has a 14-point inspection service that we provide at the time of every inside grease trap cleaning:
- Inspect cover
- Inspect gaskets
- Inspect bolts
- Inspect rods
- Inspect baffle
- Inspect baskets
- Inspect for rust
- Check flow of trap
- Check for leaks
- Advise when Drain Cleaning Services are needed
- Inspect strainers
- Inspect screens
- Advise if frequency of maintenance should be changed
- Compile a complete condition report on every visit
Our technician notes the condition of the grease trap, service frequency recommendations, and takes before and after pictures of the trap. All of this information is extremely valuable in keeping good care of your grease interceptor. This information is emailed to you once the service is closed in our system.
Grease Best Practices
Pouring grease down a drain line can cause major backups. As the grease hardens in the line, the line gets narrower. This inhibits the flow of water through the line and overtime can cause water to overflow back up into the sink or onto the floor through a clean out cover.
So what can you do to prevent backups in your restaurant? First start by educating your employees, letting them know the risks of pouring grease or food scraps into the sink. Knowing how to keep fats, oils, and grease out of your drain lines will help you in the low run.
Next, contact a trusted service provider to schedule regular maintenance. Wind River Environmental takes the guess work out of when to service your grease trap by placing our customers on an automatic frequency for service based on the condition of the trap as well as local regulation.
Grease Trap Replacements
Eventually, a grease trap needs to be replaced. Many grease traps are made out of metal which can corrode overtime. If there is excessive rust to the grease trap, it is probably time to replace it. Metal grease traps have a typical lifespan on 5-7 years before it needs to be replaced. The last thing you would want is to have waste water leaking out of the trap into the foundation of your business!
Depending on the location of the grease trap, it might qualify to be replaced with a plastic grease trap rather than another metal trap. The benefit of a plastic trap is that it will not corrode overtime like a metal trap does.
How Constant Flow Preventive Maintenance Can Help Your Business
FOG Can Hurt Your Business!
It’s called FOG in the liquid waste industry: the infamous acronym for Fat, Oil, and Grease. FOG is a major concern for wastewater treatment facilities because of the damage and complications it can cause in sewer and septic systems.
FOG hardens as it cools and can cause clogs in drains and nearby sewer pipes farther down the line. The resulting backflow of raw sewage can be a health hazard, is very costly to repair, and even has the potential to close down your business. Below are a few best practices to minimize FOG damage at your place of business, as recommended in this article at Business Wire.
- Never pour grease and oil down the drain.
- Let grease and oil cool, then place them in sealable containers.
- Scrape away grease and oil from dishes, pans, and griddles after they cool.
- Properly dispose of grease in accordance with local ordinances.
FOG and Preventive Maintenance For Businesses
Business owners can enjoy peace of mind when it comes to grease removal and maintenance by partnering with Wind River Environmental in a preventive maintenance program. We believe that the best way to deal with FOG problems is to prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Our commercial preventive maintenance programs are tailored to suit your individual business needs. We schedule maintenance frequency as your individual business demands require, taking charge of inside grease, outside grease, drain cleaning, and plumbing inside and outside the foundation. We call it our Constant Flow preventive maintenance program.
Constant Flow Preventive Maintenance Program
Once you’re in our Constant Flow program you’ve taken your preventive maintenance to a higher level. You no longer need to worry about repeatedly scheduling maintenance service, and the program includes repairs as needed for your entire wastewater system at no extra charge!
We encourage all of our commercial customers in food-related businesses or institutions such as restaurants, supermarkets, healthcare, or educational facilities to take advantage of our comprehensive Constant Flow preventive maintenance program to prevent FOG problems before they happen.
Keep your businesses up and running – don’t hesitate to contact us today!
Wind River’s Constant Flow Maintenance Program for Restaurants
Preventing Backups and Overflow at Restaurants
A septic system clogged with grease can be a nightmare for a busy restaurant when backups cause overflow on the premises. At Wind River Environmental we’re always ready to tackle emergencies to keep restaurant owners up and running, but we’ve found that the best way to deal with septic emergencies is to prevent them from occurring at all.
Total Food Service reports on their website that two restaurants had to close their doors recently due to lack of service on the grease traps. This led to flooded basements caused by sewer back-ups. The restaurants were shut down completely while excess grease was removed from the premises and clogged sewer lines were power-jetted. Total Food Service goes on to state that:
“This costly service and lost sales could have been prevented had their equipment been properly maintained on a regular basis.”
We at Wind River Environmental wholeheartedly agree, which is why we’ve instituted our Constant Flow Maintenance Program to avoid costly emergency repairs and shutdowns, not to mention possible health code violations and fines for restaurants and food service businesses. We’ve found that most businesses discover by experience that a preventive maintenance program is a very wise investment in the long run.
Constant Flow Maintenance Program
Simply put, when you enroll in a Constant Flow Maintenance Program the wastewater treatment experts at Wind River Environmental take ownership of your septic system for one flat monthly fee. If anything goes awry with the system while you’re in the program we handle the repairs at no additional charge.
You can choose comprehensive maintenance for the entire system, or have us service certain high-maintenance aspects of the system. Every business is different of course, and we’ll customize the Constant Flow Maintenance Program to suit your specific maintenance needs. We can schedule regular preventive maintenance to cover:
- Inside grease
- Outside grease
- Drain Cleaning
- Inside the foundation
- Outside the foundation
We’re happy to provide the Constant Flow Maintenance Program for all those who can benefit including all foodservice-related businesses, restaurants, supermarkets, healthcare facilities, and educational institutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us for the septic system support your business needs.