5 Good Reasons to Have Your Grease Traps Cleaned Regularly

Posted on: 2 May 2017


Grease trap maintenance is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. More often than not, however, it's a job that many business owners put off until the last possible moment. The results are often none too pleasant—accumulated fats, oils and grease (FOG) can easily overwhelm commercial plumbing systems, leading to municipal fines, unnecessary downtime and unhappy customers. Here are five good reasons to schedule regular grease trap cleanings for your business.

Regular Cleaning Reduces Noxious Odors

Ever walk past a local eatery that hasn't cleaned out its grease traps in a while and wonder where that terrible smell's coming from? It's likely due to a buildup of FOG decomposing inside the grease trap. Food rots and eventually produces foul odors over time. In a grease trap that hasn't seen a good cleaning in ages, those odors can waft through the piping and make their way indoors, to the chagrin of your employees and customers.

Regularly scheduled grease trap cleaning remains the most effective way of tackling odor problems long-term. Other methods including the use of enzymes and bacteria may be able to mask odors for a brief period, but they'll always come back unless the grease trap is thoroughly cleaned.

Sporadic Cleanings Can Make the Job Much Tougher

FOG doesn't just build up along the walls and bottom of your grease trap. When left to its own devices for too long, it can also harden into a nearly impenetrable layer that proves almost impossible to clean without undergoing some drastic measures. Needless to say, going for long periods without cleaning out your grease trap can make it more difficult to clean out when it finally comes time for cleaning.

It Can Prevent Damage to the Grease Trap Tank

Believe it or not, leaving FOG inside of your grease trap for too long could be a death sentence for your equipment. Most grease trap storage tanks are made from steel, a metal that can easily see rust and corrosion under the right circumstances. Decomposing food remnants can create a buildup of corrosive hydrogen sulfur gas, which explains the foul odors coming out of the grease trap. Those gases can also leave behind sulfuric acid inside the trap system.

It goes without saying that sulfuric acid and steel don't mix. The former can erode away the latter, leaving behind a heavily corroded tank that'll need replacing sooner or later. Even grease trap tanks made from concrete can be affected, as the sulfuric acid can also eat away at the concrete walls lining the tank. Regularly scheduled cleanings can help keep problems like these from happening to your grease trap system.

It Keeps the Rest of Your Plumbing Clean

What happens when too much FOG accumulates inside your grease traps? It could cause FOG to back up into the rest of your plumbing system. When this happens, there's a good chance you'll need to have your entire plumbing system hydro-jetted by an experienced plumber, which could cost time and money. Having your grease traps cleaned regularly can keep the rest of your business's plumbing in good shape.

Local Codes Require Regular Cleaning

The last thing your municipality needs is leftover FOG finding its way into its sewer system. But that's usually what happens when businesses slack off on cleaning their grease traps. FOG that'd otherwise be contained within the grease trap instead passes through the municipal sewer system, often creating gigantic mounds of FOG that proves extraordinarily difficult to break up, let alone remove.

As a result, local governments often conduct outflow testing to detect high levels of grease entering municipal sewer systems. The fines for allowing large quantities of FOG to pass into the sewer system are often steep, which is why it's usually cheaper to have the traps cleaned rather than pay thousands of dollars in fines.

To learn more, contact local grease removal services.