5 Quick Grease Trap FAQs for a Clean Kitchen and Compliant Space

commercial grease trap cleaning

Kitchen grease is a messy affair and dealing with it is a hassle every restaurant owner wants to avoid. However, allowing kitchen grease to accumulate is not an option. Apart from tiny critters and bacteria, regulators will also hound you for not maintaining a clean space.

As a restaurant owner or someone who took over the reins of a commercial kitchen, it’s important to know when and how to clean grease traps. Can you do commercial grease trap maintenance yourself? Should you let the professionals handle it? Well, you’ve landed on the right post since we are going to answer all those questions and some more.

Grease Trap FAQs decoded:

1. Why do I need to clean my grease trap?

Grease traps are connected to your kitchen sink and catch all kinds of materials including food waste and FOG (fat, oil and grease). It’s the line of defence that prevents sewers from getting clogged. When you don’t clean this contraption, all those nasty materials flow into the sewer or may spill into your kitchen. Even if they don’t overflow, the rotten organic matter attracts rats and flies and encourages bacteria growth for a foul smell. A major health risk for sure.

2. How often should I replace my grease trap?

Grease traps handle a lot of filth that turns into corrosive and toxic substances over time. Even if you regularly clean your grease trap and maintain it in the best possible condition, it has a limited life span. For instance, metal grease traps are more susceptible to corrosion and usually have a lifespan of around 5 to 7 years.

On the other hand, plastic traps are much more resistant and can last a few more years. Moreover, the grease trap installation price is lower for plastic compared to metal. If you have an exterior concrete interceptor that can hold thousands of gallons of FOG, it will last for a couple of decades. However, replacing that is going to be equally expensive. If your grease trap has lasted you for a solid 7 years, consider getting it inspected by professionals for holes or other signs of major damage. If you find leaks, treat it as an opportunity to upgrade your interceptor.

3. Can I DIY the maintenance or cleaning for my interceptor?

Well, grease traps in household kitchens don’t require the expertise of professionals for regular cleaning and maintenance. You can bring out your garage tools, a bit of baking soda and other household chemicals to get the job done. However, commercial kitchens are a different issue.

Both commercial grease trap installation and cleaning must be done by professionals to ensure regulatory compliance. For instance, in Ireland, you need a FOG trade effluent license and licensees are required to clean, maintain and service it regularly and maintain proper records. Hiring professionals for the job allows you to adhere to the strict standards of the regulatory bodies and helps you maintain documentation for inspections.

4. How often will my facility be inspected by regulators?

Irish Water conducts inspections regularly on commercial kitchens, restaurants and other food establishments that discharge FOG into sewers. Inspectors may drop by for a visit up to 4 times a year without any warning or notice. You will be expected to show proper documentation about the make and design along with maintenance records. That’s why you should get your trap cleaned every 3 to 4 months.

5. Am I responsible for disposing of grease?

As the owner of a commercial kitchen, you shouldn’t ignore any opportunity to increase your cash flow. Most of the FOG particles that get trapped can be recycled into biodiesel or animal feed. You can outsource this job to professionals in the recycling industry.

On the other hand, non-recyclable substances must be disposed of in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner that doesn’t harm the public infrastructure or nature. When you hire a reputable commercial grease trap cleaning company, it comes with the service. Avoid dumping the waste illegally since such violations attract heavy penalties. Saving a few bucks isn’t worth the risk.

Complying with regulations and keeping your space free from nasty odours is easy when you have professionals to rely on. Make sure to choose the right company for the job with high standards and a stellar reputation. Abiding by regulations doesn’t need to be tricky when you get the right help.

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