Common Grease Trap Cleaning Mistakes to Avoid

All restaurants, diners, and establishments that cook food will have a grease trap; it's usually required by law, as is cleaning it out on a regular basis. This trap catches solid waste so that it doesn't go down the city sewer system and potentially clog pipes and other outlets, and contaminate any water in that system. A restaurant owner may assume that they can clean this trap out themselves as needed, and it may be legally allowed in your area. However, before you do that, note a few mistakes to avoid so you know you get the job done right.

Hot flushing the drain

Some restaurant owners might try hot flushing the drain, meaning that they pour hot or boiling water into the drain to try to melt those solids caught in the trap and, in turn, allow them to wash away. This is a mistake because the type of grease that is caught in a trap will simply coagulate again once it becomes cool, and this can happen in the pipes leading away from the trap. This also kills good bacteria in the trap; this bacteria is needed to eat up some of that grease. Always clean out a grease trap with a proper pump meant for grease, and dispose of it in the receptacle that is needed for your local codes. Hot water is often used after the trap is emptied, along with proper detergents and cleaning agents for a thorough clean, but not for flushing the grease itself.

Not replacing damaged gaskets

Gaskets are what provide a seal for the grease trap lid. If you open the lid too quickly or firmly, you might damage that gasket. It might seem like a small thing, but gaskets are what keep grease inside the trap and also help to keep odors away. If you don't replace a damaged gasket, you may see an overflow from your trap and be able to smell the old grease, which is very unpleasant.

Not recording the work properly

When your restaurant is inspected by the local health board or whatever entity may visit regularly, you usually need a record of when the grease trap was emptied and how much solid material you pumped out. You need to measure this material before pumping and also ensure you keep accurate records of when you emptied the trap. Even if the trap is cleaned properly, not having this paperwork can mean hefty fines for your establishment. Be sure to keep accurate records every time you have grease trap cleaning done.