How Often Should Your Grease Trap Be Emptied?

August 3, 2021

When you have a grease trap, your first question should be, “How often do I need to empty this?” Keeping up on grease trap removal will help you save money on repairs, avoid dangerous situations and establish a regular schedule. Plus, you’ll know when you need to remove your old trap and install a new one.

Here’s what you need to know about emptying your grease trap with help from a local grease removal service.

Stick to the ¼ rule

You’ll know when you need to empty your grease trap with the ¼ rule of thumb: when your grease trap is a quarter full of fats, grease and oils, it’s time to empty the trap. This is usually part of the laws in each municipality, so make sure you check your trap early and often.

The ¼ rule exists because once your trap is a quarter full of these solids, it will no longer serve its purpose. The trap can’t collect any more fats, oils and grease, which means it can wash down your pipes and into the wastewater system. If the fats solidify in your pipes, it will cause costly damage.

Maintaining a schedule

If you’re a new grease trap owner—whether it’s your first one or you’ve just moved to a new location—you’ll need to set a schedule to empty your grease trap. The best way to do this is to start monitoring the grease trap every few days after it’s been emptied. When it gets to be a quarter full of solids, you’ll know about how long it is before your trap needs to be emptied. Generally, this will happen every one to three months. You may need to empty your trap more or less frequently, depending on the size of your facility and how often it’s used.

If your grease trap fills up more than once a month, it’s time to start thinking about swapping it out for a larger trap. While this is initially costly, it’ll save you a lot of money on removal services over time. You’ll also be less likely to require service for unexpected blockages and overflows, both of which can be costly to address.

When in doubt, look up county ordinances

Some business owners aren’t sure whether they need a grease trap, let alone how often it should be emptied. As a general rule, you should assume you need one if your business includes a kitchen, but make sure you understand exactly what’s required in your area. Your specific county may have extra rules to avoid blockages and protect the water treatment systems.

When you’re not sure what’s required of your business, your county laws and ordinances should provide some clarity. Once you understand what kind of grease trap is required and what maintenance tasks are involved, you can set a regular pumping and inspection schedule.

For professional used oil and grease removal service, call Safeway Used Oil and Grease today. We work with many local businesses to ensure safe collection of used oils, and look forward to assisting you soon.

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