Commercial kitchens found in restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and more rely on grease traps to effectively separate most fats, oils, and greases (FOG) from wastewater before it flows to the local sewer system. This equipment is essential in preventing sewage blockages and plays a key role in making a commercial kitchen function.

To ensure optimal performance of your grease trap, it’s important to have it regularly cleaned by a professional. In this blog, we’ll go over the five key signs that your grease trap needs cleaning.

Your Drainage Is Moving Slowly

Poor grease trap upkeep is the number one contributor to clogged sink drains. Although fats, oils, and greases may be in liquid form when you wash them down the drain, they can accumulate and solidify over time. This can lead to clogged grease traps and slow drainage in your kitchen. To check for this, you can perform a simple visual inspection of your grease trap. If you see grease solidifying and forming a cap at the top of the trap, that means it’s too full and requires cleaning.

Foul Odors

If you’re noticing foul smells in your kitchen but can’t seem to find the source, it may be time to check your grease trap. Without proper cleaning, fats, oils, food waste, and other sludge can build up in your grease trap and rot, causing lingering odors. Strong grease trap smells are not desirable in any kitchen, and the fumes can cause health risks to workers and diners. To eliminate these unpleasant odors, schedule a grease trap cleaning service.

Grease is Leaking in Other Areas

When grease traps are clogged, excess grease must find a way out, typically through the nearest route available. This can result in grease leaking into other areas of your kitchen and plumbing system, which poses serious issues for your sinks, water lines, sewer pipes, and more. Therefore, if you’re noticing grease in random areas of your kitchen, it may be time to have your grease trap professionally cleaned.

It’s Been More Than Three Months Since the Last Grease Trap Cleanout

Government organizations, such as the Health Department and EPA, have strict standards regarding grease trap maintenance. As a general rule of thumb, you should have your grease trap cleaned every three months; however, you may require more frequent cleaning if your kitchen produces more FOG. If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned your grease trap, it may be time to schedule a cleaning to ensure compliance with national and local government regulations. Maintaining a consistent cleaning schedule will help you avoid issues down the road.

The Grease Is 25 Percent of the Total Liquid Depth

To ensure safe and healthy conditions, the EPA mandates that grease traps be cleaned when the amount of FOG exceeds 25% of the wastewater depth. If excessive FOG fills the container, it can slow down the flow of waste, resulting in bad odors in your facility, as well as many other issues. The more fats, oils, and grease you have in your grease trap, the more difficult it is to clean thoroughly. As such, it’s important to have a maintenance checklist in place so that you don’t forget when it’s time for a cleaning.

Grease Trap Cleanout With Service Pumping & Drain

Postponing your grease trap cleanout can lead to serious issues, including non-compliance with health codes, unsafe working conditions, temporary shutdowns, and higher maintenance costs. To prevent these problems, it’s important to schedule regular cleaning services with an experienced provider. At Service Pumping & Drain Co., Inc.™, we have decades of experience in providing quality grease trap cleaning services to customers in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire.

If you’re noticing any of the above signs, contact us to schedule your grease trap cleaning service today.


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