Understandably, you probably don’t give much thought to your grease trap until there’s a problem. And by then, it’s often too late. A clogged or overflowing grease trap can cause serious damage to your property and disrupt your business operations.
In this article, Assainissement île de France provides you with everything you need to know about cleaning a grease trap. We’ll cover what a grease trap is, how it works, how to clean it properly, and when you should call in the professionals.
What is a grease trap?
Have you ever wondered where all the grease from your kitchen sink goes? It doesn’t just disappear down the drain after all.
Grease traps, also known as grease interceptors or grease converters, are designed to capture grease and oil before it has a chance to enter the sewer system.
Grease traps come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the volume of wastewater they’re designed to handle. They can be as small as a five-gallon pail or as large as an industrial-sized tank.
Types of grease traps
There are three main types of grease traps. They are:
- Gravity grease traps: These are the most common type of grease trap. They work by using gravity to separate the grease and oil from the water.
- Hydro mechanical grease traps: These devices use a combination of skimming and separation to remove the grease and oil.
- Automatic grease traps: These are the most expensive but also the most effective type of grease trap. They use a mechanical device to skim the grease and oil from the water before it has a chance to enter the sewer system.
How do grease traps work?
To understand how a grease trap works, let’s break down its components. There are three main components of a grease trap:
In a typical gravity grease trap, the inlet is located at the top of the device. This is where wastewater enters the grease trap. The inlet is connected to the sewer line so that all the wastewater from your sink drains into the grease trap.
The baffles are located inside the grease trap. They are designed to slow down the flow of water and help separate the grease and oil from the water.
The baffles work because the greasy water flows into the grease trap and hits the baffles, causing the water to slow down. This slowing down gives the grease and oil time to rise to the top of the water, where it can be skimmed off.
The outlet is located at the bottom of the gravity grease trap. This is where all the wastewater that the grease trap has treated is released back into the sewer system.
While there are different grease traps, they all work using the same basic principle. They are typically installed under the sink or in the floor drain and use a combination of gravity and baffles to separate the grease from the water.
As the water flows into the grease trap, the baffles slow it down and cause the grease to rise to the top, where it can be skimmed off. The treated water is then released from the outlet back into the sewer system.
5 Simple Steps to Cleaning a Grease Trap
Cleaning your grease trap is important for two reasons: removing the accumulated grease and oil and preventing odors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your grease trap:
1. Locate your grease trap.
First things first, you need to find your grease trap. If you’re unsure where it is, ask a professional or consult your building plans.
If you have a gravity grease trap, it will typically be located under the sink or in the floor drain. And if you have an automatic grease trap, it will usually be found outside near the sewer line.
2. Turn off the water supply to the grease trap.
Before cleaning the grease trap, you need to turn off the water supply. This is a critical step because if you don’t turn off the water, you could have a big mess on your hands.
To turn off the water supply, locate the shut-off valve. You can normally find it near the grease trap or under the sink. Once you’ve located it, turn the valve so it’s in the “off” position.
3. Pump out the water.
Once you’ve turned off the water, it’s time to pump out the water that’s already in the grease trap. You can do this using a submersible pump or a wet/dry vac.
If you’re using a submersible pump, lower it into the grease trap and turn it on. The pump will do the work for you and remove all the water from the grease trap.
If you’re using a wet/dry vac, put the hose into the grease trap and turn on the vac. Again, this will remove all the water from the grease trap. Once all the water is gone, you can move on to the next step.
4. Remove the baffles.
The next step is to remove the baffles from the grease trap. This will give you better access to the inside of the grease trap and make cleaning it a lot easier.
To remove the baffles, unscrew them and set them aside. If they’re too dirty and caked with grime to reuse, discard them and get new ones.
5. Clean the inside of the grease trap.
Now it’s time to clean the inside of the grease trap. You can do this with various cleaners, but we recommend using an enzyme-based cleaner.
Enzyme-based cleaners are designed to break down and remove grease, oil, and fat. They’re also safe to use and won’t damage the grease trap.
To use an enzyme-based cleaner, pour it into the grease trap and let it sit for a few hours. After a few hours, flush out the cleaner with clean water. And that’s it! You’ve successfully cleaned your grease trap. Just be sure to put the baffles back in before turning the water on.
Should you call a professional to clean your grease trap?
While it’s not always necessary to call a professional to clean your grease trap, there are some benefits. For one, professionals have the proper equipment and experience for DEGORGEMENT, and other issues.
Additionally, professionals can inspect your grease trap for any problems. And if they do find a problem, they can fix it before it becomes a bigger problem.
So, if you’re not comfortable cleaning your grease trap or don’t have the time to do it, we recommend calling a professional. Some severe grease trap problems are also best left to the professionals.
If you suspect a problem with your grease trap, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call it in.
How often should you clean your grease trap?
Like all other things in your kitchen, your grease trap needs to be cleaned regularly. The frequency of cleaning will depend on how often you use your sink and how much grease is going down the drain.
For example, if you have a busy restaurant, you’ll need to clean your grease trap more often than in a small café. As a general rule, you should clean your grease trap every three to six months. But if you’re unsure how often to clean it, we recommend calling a professional.
Maintenance is key to keeping your grease trap in good working order. By keeping it clean and free of grease, you can avoid any major issues.
If you have any questions about cleaning your grease trap or think there may be a problem with it, don’t hesitate to call the CURAGE CANALISATION experts. They’ll be able to help you out and ensure your grease trap is working properly.