Does My Grease Trap Need to Be Cleaned?

July 17, 2019

Clogged drains, expensive repairs and even a citation could be the side effects of not cleaning your grease trap often enough. Yet many commercial restaurant establishments fail to keep up with their grease trap cleaning in New Orleans, LA until it’s too late.

Most areas have laws that require commercial restaurant establishments to clean their grease traps at least every 90 days, but this is only the minimum requirement. Most restaurants need to get their grease traps cleaned more often than that, but they don’t realize it. How often you clean your grease traps depends on a lot of things, such as your trap size, seating capacity, cooking techniques and even your menu. It also depends on the amount of business you do. For example, perhaps you are busier in the summer than during the rest of the year. If that’s the case, you may need to clean your grease trap monthly during the summertime.

Thankfully, there are several signs you can be on the lookout for to determine if it’s time to clean your grease trap.

Slow drainage

Grease traps may take a while to clog, but they will start to drain slower when they are reaching capacity. When a heavy grease cap has developed on top of the trap, it will be more difficult for water to drain through the system. One of the first signs that your grease trap needs to be cleaned is slow drainage.

Bad odor

Once the grease, fatty oils and other food waste that your trap filters out have been sitting for a while, you’ll begin to notice a strong odor in your kitchen. This is typically caused by bacteria that is starting to develop. While this may be temporarily fixed by DIY cleaning or the use of very hot water to “flush” the system, the root cause of the problem is usually a grease trap that is at capacity.

The ¼ rule

Sometimes there may not be the regular warning signs, or you may not notice them. In these cases, we recommend the ¼ rule. This rule simply means that once your grease trap is ¼ full of fats, oils and grease, it’s time for a professional cleaning. Sticking to this rule should help you avoid any issues.

Use smart practices

While you may not be able to prevent the need for grease trap cleanings, you can reduce how often you need this service by using smart practices:

  • Scrape excess food and debris off plates and utensils
  • Dry wipe pots and pans
  • Recycle excess oil
  • Clean your grease traps according to a regular schedule

By keeping these warning signs and tips in mind, you can avoid any costly hassle caused by an overfull grease trap. When you notice that you are in need of grease trap cleaning in New Orleans, LA, be sure to call on Safeway Used Oil and Grease. We’re a family-owned business that specializes in grease trap cleaning and oil recycling. To schedule your next grease trap cleaning, just give us a call today!

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