What Exactly Is a Grease Trap, and Why Should I Take Better Care of Mine?

April 1, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

Just about every commercial kitchen has a grease trap. You might not be able to see it, but every time you turn on your faucet and wash fats, oils and grease (FOG) down the drain, it’s working hard to protect your plumbing. As its name implies, a grease trap’s job is to literally trap these FOG materials! And, as it does, it’s your duty to schedule grease trap cleaning in Erie County, NY.

While grease traps are specifically designed to capture grease, they need routine emptying and cleaning as they become full. Failure to maintain your trap could spell trouble for your plumbing and a costly cleanup for your commercial kitchen.

The Problem with FOG

To understand why grease trap cleaning and maintenance is so important, let’s take a closer look at FOG.

When FOG materials are poured down the drain, they’re usually in hot liquid form—or, at the very least, suspended in hot water. And while they may disappear down the drain with ease, as FOG materials start to cool within your plumbing, they’re going to create nasty buildups. Fat congeals in U-bends, while oils and grease cling to the sides of plumbing and build up to restrict flow.

Over time, these once-liquid materials become solids. And, when they do, they’re liable to cause drainage issues, backups, clogs and much bigger problems.

Grease Traps Solve the Problem

The nice thing about FOG materials is that they’re hydrophobic and less dense than water. This is why grease floats on top of water and fat particles rise to the surface. Grease traps use this to their advantage, as a way to siphon off FOG materials and prevent them from entering the larger plumbing system. Within the tank, FOG materials float to the top while water is forced through.

Don’t Overlook Cleaning and Maintenance

Because a copious amount of grease goes down drains each day in a commercial kitchen, grease traps tend to accumulate FOG materials very quickly. After a while, the accumulation needs to be emptied, which requires professional pumping. Failing to do this means letting your grease trap grow dangerously full, to the point of being ineffective or worse, seeing backflow.

More than just pumping, grease trap cleaning in Erie County, NY is also part of maintenance. Pumping out the trap will remove the bulk of FOG, but as mentioned, these nasty materials have a tendency to cause all sorts of problems. They can build up on the walls of your grease trap or form chunks that aren’t always removed during pumping. Professional cleaning is the way to ensure all FOG materials are removed from your trap.

A well-maintained grease trap is one that’ll protect your plumbing and help you avoid the many issues that stem from FOG. It’s a good idea to have your trap pumped and cleaned every three to four months or when approximately ¼ of the trap is full. A cleaning professional can help you determine the right schedule for service based on your trap and your use of it. Reach out to Macken Services, Inc. for more information.

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