New Restaurant Owners: Should You Clean Your Own Grease Trap?


If you recently opened a small neighborhood or local restaurant, you may have many decisions to make in regards to your business. One of the things you might face soon is emptying your grease trap. If your restaurant does well in the community, your grease trap can quickly build up with fats, oils, and grease (FOG). You may decide to clean the trap yourself to save time and to keep from others interfering with your business, but doing this yourself could be the wrong action to take. Here are things to consider about self-cleaning your grease trap and what you can do instead.

Is It Easy to Clean Out a Grease Trap?

Although grease traps seem like simple devices, the fixtures are actually complex. Your trap collects and filters every byproduct that washes down your kitchen sinks, including pieces of food, globs of grease, and lumps of fat. The trap contains fixtures called baffles that separate the solid waste from the liquid waste. Most of the solid waste floats to the top of the trap. However, some of the waste sinks to the bottom of the trap or sticks to the sides of the trap. 

In order to clean your grease trap thoroughly and correctly, you must pump or remove every bit of FOG from it, including the baffles. If you leave FOG inside the trap for a long period of time, it could eventually clog up the pluming pipe or outlet connected to it. The clog can block or prevent new FOG from reaching the grease trap, or it can back up into your plumbing system or city sewage.

If your restaurant is responsible for clogging up the city's sewage lines, you may incur fines or experience other issues. It's a good idea that you allow a plumber to empty and clean your grease trap for you, as they have the experience and know-how to make sure your grease trap is cleaned properly.

What Should You Do Instead?

A plumber will generally come in and inspect your grease trap before they proceed with the cleaning. Your trap should be structurally sound and capable of holding your restaurant's FOG. If your trap is too small, it may not do a good job in containing the FOG in your restaurant.

A contractor can also discard your FOG properly, such as a disposal facility or treatment center. Some places recycle FOG into fuel and other beneficial substances. If you have questions about the disposal of your FOG, consult with a plumbing specialist immediately.

Once your grease trap is cleaned and emptied, a plumber will document it in a cleaning log. You should always keep the log in a safe place inside the restaurant or an office. Depending on how your city operates, city officials may perform an inspection of your restaurant and grease trap, and you will need to show them a cleaning log for your establishment. 

You can learn more about grease trap cleaning by contacting a plumbing contractor today.

About Me

Protecting My Plumbing

I have never been one of those people who is overly worried about making every last thing in my home perfect, but after struggling for a long time with my plumbing system, I knew that I had to do something to make things right. I started thinking carefully about what I needed to do in order to protect my plumbing, and a family friend who did work as a plumber helped to give me a few tips. She started by explaining how to avoid clogs, and then worked towards making things right by repairing one system at a time. This blog is all about protecting your plumbing and avoiding unplanned expenses.

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