2 Common Myths About Restaurant Grease Traps

Posted on: 4 June 2016

Grease traps are often relatively small in size. Despite their small size, these devices have commendable effectiveness when it comes to intercepting grease, fats and oils present in the wastewater produced from a food service establishment.

In order to maintain the effective performance of grease traps in a restaurant (for example), these traps need to be cleaned on a regular basis so as to prevent their blockage through the excessive accumulation of grease, fats and oils.

This article debunks two common myths about grease traps in food service establishments.

Grease Traps Treat Wastewater

In a large number of cases, grease traps are often thought to be suitable for the treatment of wastewater produced within the establishment. For this reason, a large number of DIY-minded restaurant owners will clean their grease traps when the traps are clogged or when they're nearly clogged (as is often the case with septic tanks and other wastewater treatment systems).

Grease traps are often installed under kitchen counters where sinks and drains tie into the counter. Outdoor traps are often installed close to the kitchen facility and they often have manhole covers. Grease, fats and oils are separated from the wastewater as it passes through the grease trap. The wastewater doesn't undergo any form of treatment as it passes through the trap. Thus, cleaning of grease traps should be done on a regular basis (daily or weekly) so as to prevent the accumulation of grease within the trap and the subsequent blockage of the trap as a result of this accumulation.

A Hot Water Flush Does The Trick

Another common myth about DIY grease trap cleaning is that running a continuous stream of hot water through the trap is enough to clean the grease interceptor. A large number of restaurant owners believe this myth because it often sounds like a simple and a cost-effective way to clean grease arrestors.

It is true that running hot water through a grease trap will help to liquefy the grease, fats and oils that may have accumulated within the trap. Liquefied grease, fats and oils may flow out of a grease trap.

Once the hot water becomes cold however, the liquefied grease will solidify and harden along wastewater drainage pipes that connect to the trap. Thus, using hot water to flush grease from a trap solves one problem, but it creates a bigger problem in the process.

The problem with relying on conventional wisdom is that much of such "wisdom" is often not factual. Grease traps won't treat waste water from a food service establishment and hot water will not solve the problem of grease accumulation in the drainage system of a food service establishment. This is why it is best to hire a company that specializes in grease trap cleaning


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