Grease traps, as the name implies, are designed to trap sludge, greases, fats, and oils. They are particularly common in restaurant drainage systems, but you can find them in large residential homes as well.
Grease traps need to be cleaned out regularly. This will help keep your establishment smelling great, so your customers keep coming back. Also, when done correctly, it will save you a lot of money.
Generally, grease traps need to be cleaned every 4-6 weeks. Follow the guide below to learn how to clean out your kitchen’s grease trap.
Tools You’ll Need for your Grease Trap Cleaning
- Gas Mask
- Shop Vacuum
- Bucket and Scoop
- Rubber Gloves
- A wooden dowel
- Kitty litter
Step 1. Before you separate the different parts of the grease trap, you first need to wait for the water to cool inside the trap. Usually, this takes about 10 minutes after emptying the waste water from the automatic dishwater or the 3-compartment sink.
Step 2. Afterward, detach the lids from the grease trap. Typically, you need a crowbar for this. Be sure to go slowly throughout the process, as there are grease trap gaskets located just beneath the cover.
Step 3. Conduct an inspection of the parts once you’ve removed the lid. During cleaning, you’ll be removing and replacing parts. If it’s your first time cleaning out a grease trap, it may help to draw a diagram or take a video of the interior of the trap. This will greatly help during the re-installation process.
Step 4. Insert a measuring stick or a wooden dowel into the grease trap. This will help you note how many inches of grease is in the trap. After measuring the height of the grease, record the result in a FOG report provided by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Step 5. Remove any water remaining in the tank. You can do this by using a small pump or a bucket. Set the water aside.
Step 6. Start scooping out the grease from your trap. You can use a small bucket, a shovel or other heavy-duty scoopers for this. Scoop the bucket into the grease trap, and remove the solid waste. Use a heavy-duty plastic trash bag for storage.
Step 7. Scrap down all the surfaces of the grease trap to remove all wastes. Scrape the bottom, sides and the lid. To achieve even better results you can use a wet/dry vacuum. Doing a thorough cleaning will help prevent debris buildup.
Step 8. Scrub the parts of your grease trap and flush the screens out. Use room temperature water and soap/detergent. To remove excess waste and odor, use a steel pot scrubber. Finally, use water to flush out the debris and soap/detergent from the parts and screens.
Step 9. Follow your video or your diagram to re-install back the grease traps parts. Remember to be gentle when doing this. Some parts are delicate and damaging them will cost you money. Only replace the lid once all the parts are secured and working.
Step 10. Now that you’re done with the re-installation process, make sure to remove any sludge from the inlet and outlet pipes. It’s recommended that you get this performed by a grease trap cleaning service company.
Step 11. Now drain approximately a gallon of clean cold water from the 3-compartment sink. This will help you determine whether the water is flowing smoothly as it should. If the water is flowing smoothly through the trap, that’s great. If not, then you’ll need to check if there are any blockages in the inlet and outlet pipes. A plumber should snake out the grease blockage.
Step 12. Be sure to dump the contents from the pail into a double-lined garbage bag. To help make the transportation easier you may use a Kitty litter. The product works by solidifying the grease sludge. Use the appropriate bin to put the grease sludge.
A grease trap can be an effective asset to have for your kitchen. However, it requires regular cleaning, preferably every 4-6 weeks. Follow the step-by-step process above to help you clean it out in the best way possible.
If you can’t do it yourself, it is recommended that you hire a plumbing professional. Best of luck!
Author: Joel Sidaka