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Restaurants Require Grease Trap Cleaning

March 11, 2022

Why Do You Need to Clean The Grease Trap Regularly? 

You can find commercial kitchen units in restaurants, hotel buildings, hospitals, shopping centres and malls, nursing homes, etc. The key to maintaining a commercial kitchen’s cleanliness is through keeping the FOG levels (Fat, Oils, and Grease) in control. Cleaning and controlling the FOG in your kitchen is a necessary process one must undergo regularly. If cleaned, it lessens your restaurant’s likelihood of getting several testing requirements due to a history of health violation. It can prevent losing customers and revenue from any restaurant’s emergency shutdowns due to sewage backups or any costly repairs plumbing services. It contains the harm of any lawsuits that could come from nearby business workers or public members exposed to raw sewage or facing any problems due to negligence. 

Grease Traps are crucial to stopping the fats, oils and grease used in cooking from entering the sewage and causing clogging or blockages.  

Foul Smell

Grease traps gather much FOG in their containers; over time, it will cause a rotting smell due to the substances decomposing inside. Even when interceptors are underground the premises, the smell could still be bothersome to employees and the general public if neglected. If your restaurant is continually spouting a foul odour, this may put the public off eating in your establishment, which is very bad for business. 

Expensive Tank Replacement

If neglected, any trapped waste will begin decomposing. When left for far too long, broken down waste will release hydrogen sulfur gas. This gas will eventually turn into sulphuric acid that is highly toxic and harmful to you, your employees, and the public. This toxic is incredibly damaging to the steel and walls of your grease traps interceptors. When interceptors are damaged, they are entirely unable to be restored, forcing you into an expensive replacement. Your next step will be to contact a grease trap installer and ensure you understand how to treat and maintain it efficiently. 

Impossible to Clean 

It is essential to regularly empty and cleans your grease trap unit as you see fit or as regularly as possible, whether in 90 days or every week or month of the year. Food particles, fats, oils and grease from cooking build-up and settle at the bottom of their steel tank due to the density. This FOG collection becomes a hard, thick mass that is a nightmare to clean out and immovable. It creates a large barrier, challenging to break through and hard to wash away for disposal.

Blockage In Drainage System

A grease trap and its interceptors aim to stop FOG and other food particles from getting into the sewage pipelines. Periodic emptying or cleaning, or neglecting such tasks causes waste to pile up. When waste piles up, it can create several blockages in your drainage system or the sewage pipelines. Inhabiting the flow of wastewater down the drains may result in foods and greases flushing through any sinks or dishwaters. Whilst being incredibly unsanitary, blockages like such can also stunt everyday tasks in the restaurant, like washing up. If water and new greases refuse to flow freely down the drain, washing up may prove to be difficult, and you could experience flooding. 


All around the world, every town issues various important penalties to establishments for failing to keep up with health and safety requirements. The inability to accurately treat and clean your grease trap is in itself a health hazard and calls for a penalty. You would be putting yourself, your staff members and the general public in danger. The danger of sewage service issues and drainage blockages, unsanitary work-life. The threat of potential exposure to sulphuric acid and displeasing surroundings could be off-putting to employees and public members, which is inherently bad for business. Some towns have penalties for commercial kitchens without grease traps, and many have penalties for the improper use of grease traps. Penalties can include suspension, large fines and the revoking of many units operating licenses.

Business Loss

Neglecting the treatment and maintenance of your grease traps could result in a loss of business. Customers may sense or smell the problems and not wish to enter or return to your establishment, and a loss of customers means losing out on profit. You may be contacted by and receive fines or lawsuits from higher-ups or local sewage service companies for your inefficient use of your grease traps. It will have tarnished your name and will prove challenging for you to gain back your many customers, and if you are working in a competitive environment, it may grow increasingly harder to beat them.

Why Do Restaurants Need Grease Traps?

Restaurants need grease traps, mostly if they continually work with greasy foods or baking using lots of oils, butter and fatty substances. It would help if you stored them inside your food facility, outside a food kitchen, food prep area or anywhere where there is food storage. They mustn’t be installed in places like janitorial services or kept with the trash. When used efficiently, grease traps make restaurant work and life a lot easier. They prevent blockages from forming in pipelines, leading to much sewage damage that could end you in lots of trouble with councils and public sewage system companies.

Restaurants need any excess greases and oils to separate so that water can flow smoothly through the pipelines into sewage streams and not cause damage that results in lawsuits, the loss of their businesses or any permits they may have. Grease traps stop various bad endings to a restaurants life. Having one that correctly functions is highly necessary to your establishment as it also promotes cleanliness within your restaurant. When regularly emptied and cleaned during non-working hours, your customers can eat freely without the worry of bad smells emitting from drains and your employees can perform tasks like washing up at the end of or during a shift with much more ease.    

How to Clean Your Grease Trap

You may clean your grease trap in several different ways, all of which depend primarily on the size, location, and type of grease trap your company owns. It would be best if you waited until you are entirely closed to start cleaning your grease trap. The container may emit displeasing sewers scents that could put-off your customers from eating, if done during working hours, and is overall bad for business. 


Step 01

Start by carefully removing the lid from the container so’s not to damage the lid or gaskets. 


Step 02

Place a long ruler into the trap and note the existing inches of grease. It is useful to record the FOG level in the EPA’s reports (The Environmental Protection Agency.) 

It would help if you get yourself a bucket or perhaps a small pump, and begin removing the wastewater from the grease trap and set aside the water. 


Step 03

Using a shovel or heavy-duty scooper, scoop out the grease from the trap ready for disposal, being sure to scrape out any excess from the sides and bottom that can prevent more build-ups. 

Clean, scrub and flush out the screens of your trap.


Step 04

Place the water that you previously set aside back into the grease trap. Thoroughly reinstall any loose parts and carefully put the lid back on. 

Importance of Grease Trap Maintenance

To fully understand the importance of grease trap maintenance and why we must clean them, we must understand a grease trap. You can find grease traps in most local commercial kitchens, and they are a massive container for the water. Containers such as this gather all the scraps, oils, fatty substances and grease from the kitchen drains that could wash down the sinks when cleaning up at the end of working days. Greases, fats and oils from the dishes cooked up are around 10% denser than the water we use to wash the plates and cutlery, meaning that they can often clog up the drains and sewage. When the FOG clogs up the drains, water cannot efficiently flow through pipes into the sewage, and this will cause build-ups and blockages. Your sinks could flood when washing up utensils, and solid food waste will settle at the bottoms of drains and not get taken through along with the water.

The grease trap allows the two to separate. The water rises above, and due to its density, the greases and oils stick to the bottom. The grease trap’s importance is that it allows for your drainage to function and let water flow freely to the sewage. If you fail to invest in a grease trap or fail in using it correctly, the waste will pile up. If waste piles up, it will result in additional food waste and FOG erupting back into your kitchen sinks and dishwashers. Not only is this unhealthy and unsanitary for a commercial restaurant, but it can also cause significant blockages within local sewage systems and pipelines. The damage will be ridiculously costly, and you could be at risk of losing your business. Kitchens often can’t afford to shut down their restaurants during their most profitable hours, but you will be required to do so in a situation as difficult as this. 

How Do You Know It’s Time To Clean The Grease Trap?

Cleaning the grease trap should be recognised as a standard and regular practice. Within or after 90 days, you must empty the grease interceptors. However, this can also depend on your grease traps’ capacity or the number of dishes made. If the grease traps capacity is much smaller or more dishes and foods cooked, it requires emptying and thoroughly cleaning more frequently, perhaps once or twice a month in a year. 

Ideally, it would be best to keep a weekly or monthly schedule of your grease trap, listing when it gets emptied, who is emptying and responsible for the management of unloading it. Please often keep track of the grease depth by measuring it with a rod and recording it to be more aware of when you need to empty and clean it. When around a fourth of the grease tank is filled, that is usually the right time. If the grease trap exceeds this limit, it almost stops functioning correctly, so to get the best use of your trap, you must follow these steps. 

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