A backed up drain clogged by grease is the most common plumbing problem a restaurant faces, according to the National Restaurant Association. Knowing what to do – and what not to do – makes all the difference in the world.
Preventative maintenance is essential. Improper trap maintenance can cause fats, oils and grease – known collectively as FOG – to escape into municipal sewage systems where they can cause widespread damage. Some municipalities send professional testing companies to test grease traps. These municipalities may issue a fine if test results show a restaurant’s traps contain a high concentration of grease.
Clogged grease traps can cause:
Drain line blockages and back-ups
Flow of FOG into the city sewer lines, leading to big fines
FOG is a leading cause of clogged pipes in sewer systems, which can cause municipalities millions of dollars. Clogged pipes can be an expensive nightmare for any restaurant.
How to check your grease trap
Grease trap models vary slightly but all work in the same basic way to remove FOG from water. Read your owner’s manual, if provided, to learn how to unclog your grease trap.
Perform a thorough examination of the grease trap to be sure it was properly installed, especially if the clog occurs immediately after installation or routine maintenance. There could be blockage in the line, which would require the attention of a professional plumber. Check the following common grease trap issues and resolve any problems you find:
Full grease trap
Clog in crossover
Clog in incoming line
Clog in outgoing line
Dos and don’ts of grease trap maintenance
· Check the grease trap for foreign objects. Remove any obvious objects that could potentially clog the line.
· Clean the grease trap as normal and according to manufacturer’s specifications.
· Do not pour solvents into the grease trap in an effort to dissolve FOG; doing so may introduce dangerous or corrosive substances into the municipal sewer system or damage the pipes of your establishment.
· Do not insert unapproved wires or hoses into grease traps in an effort to unclog them. Doing so could damage your grease trap and pipes.
· Never attempt to heat a pipe to dissolve a grease clog. Doing so could result in personal injury and damage to property.
Stubborn grease trap clogs require the attention of a plumbing professional. If fat, oil and grease clog your grease trap, contact environmental resource professionals at FER today by calling 405-677-4992 or 405-495-6336.