As every restaurant owner knows, keeping operation clicking on all cylinders can be challenging. And with all the other pressing priorities simple maintenance routines need to be prioritised as well. Grease traps are a standard feature, used in restaurants to ensure solids, fats, oil, and grease (known as FOGs), get removed before getting flushed into the water supply.
Why is this important? The environmental impact of unauthorised waste is costly to the greater society as well as wildlife, birdlife, and plant life.
A more immediate reason to keep water discharge clean is to steer clear of legal and regulatory problems. Regulators understand that small amounts of waste while individually may not cause significant problems, when compounded by other businesses can amount to significant damage. So in Perth the water discharge regulations are governed by the Departnemt of Water and the Environment.
See their website for complete details of businesses obligation under the law: https://www.dwer.wa.gov.au/
How Grease Traps Work
Before the water enters the water supply, it passes through a grease trap’s flow regulator/diverter. The regulator separates the debris and FOG’s from the water/liquid.
When water enters the trap, it cools down in order to cause the the FOGs to harden, and float to the surface of the water and the heavier debris gravitates to the bottom of the trap. The “middle layer” between the FOGs and the debris is the clean water that can be discharged into the sewage system.
This water then enters a secondary compartment in the trap which is separated from the first by a crossover pipe. Here any grease that made it through is allowed to rise to the surface. The cleaned water is discharged through an outlet pipe. The FOGs and debris are removed when they reach certain levels to prevent overflow.
Common Grease Trap Problems
Take care of the following potential problems:
Clogging in Crossover
FOGs and debris can build up in the “crossover line” between the compartments causing the liquid level in the first compartment to backup while the second compartment’s water level will be normal. Water may overflow in the first compartment.
Clog in the Incoming Line
If a clog occurs in the incoming line, the backup may cause the gunk to flood into the restaurant. A key symptom that the incoming line is clogged is that either restaurant floor drains get cacked up or sinks themselves will get blocked.
Clog in the Outgoing Line
If the outgoing line clogs, the grease trap will overflow from both compartments.
Full Grease Trap
A “stitch in time saves nine” applies equally to cloth/material as to grease traps and lines. A full grease trap caused by not clearing out grease in time in the primary compartment spills into the secondary compartment, clogging the crossover, incoming, and outgoing lines. Keep those traps clean, but if you need a plumber, give us a call, we can help you save the day by clearing the lines and getting the flow working again as it should.
Grease Trap Services from InspectorJet
We service and install the following grease traps and related items:
- Grease Removal Devices
- Grease Interceptors
- Gravity Grease Interceptors
- Strainer Baskets
- Solid Removal Systems
- Underground concrete, fiberglass or steel tanks for high-flow applications
- Automatic Grease Removal Units (AGRUs)
- Grease Recovery Devices (GRDs)