Several factors, including a clogged grease trap, can cause plumbing problems in food service facilities. Fat, oil, and grease (FOG) are inevitable byproducts of commercial kitchen operations. However, poor management of this waste can lead to a host of problems including slip and fall accidents, health code violations, and loss of customers.
Regular grease trap cleaning and maintenance can help you avoid these costly outcomes. Here are common grease trap problems that could affect operations in your food service facility.
Neglecting your grease trap will cause the incoming FOG to accumulate on the baffles that retain the fats and oils. FOG buildup can result in nasty waste spills and interfere with your facility's plumbing system, necessitating costly repairs.
Accumulation of FOG on the trapping devices will inevitably result in off-putting odors too. Regular pumping can mitigate FOG buildup and the subsequent problems.
The crossover and outgoing lines can succumb to blockages from FOG buildup.
A grease trap is made of baffles and a holding tank consisting of two compartments.
In the first compartment is where wastewater coming from your sinks and dishwashers separates from the FOG, leaving this greasy waste to float on the trap.
The wastewater that settles at the bottom of the tank flows to the second compartment via the crossover line and out to the sewer line.
Blockages in the crossover line will cause wastewater to accumulate in the first compartment and therefore minimize the efficiency of the grease trap system. This may also result in wastewater backing up in your sinks.
The outgoing line is the pipe that drains wastewater to the sewer. The flow of wastewater out of the holding tank and into the sewer provides adequate time and space for the grease to separate from the water.
A blocked outgoing line prevents wastewater from flowing away from the holding tank. This diminishes the capacity of the grease trap to separate grease from wastewater, leading to more buildup.
Pumping and cleaning the grease trap can resolve a blocked outgoing or crossover line. However, in the case of severe neglect, your plumber may recommend replacing the affected line.
Clogged Flow Restrictor
A flow restrictor is a small device installed between the incoming line and the grease trap tank.
The restrictor regulates the amount of water coming from your kitchen sinks and dishwashers through the incoming line. The restrictor also allows adequate air to enter the incoming line to facilitate proper flow of wastewater.
Food particles that are thrown down the drains and an accumulation of FOG in the grease trap can clog the flow restrictor. This prevents air and water from entering through the incoming line, resulting in slow drains and backups in your kitchen sinks.
Cleaning the restrictor valve as part of a grease trap maintenance routine can eliminate clogs and allow normal flow for water and air.
In some instances, for example, when the diameter of the restrictor is too small, your plumber may need to replace the device to minimize the risk of future blockages.
Ideally, the vent inside the restrictor should be larger or equal in diameter to the incoming line or you may experience problems even after cleaning the grease trap.
Grease trap problems can have serious consequences for your business. Fortunately, grease trap washing and repair can eliminate stubborn FOG buildups and resolve plumbing issues in your food service facility.
Whether you want a Wisconsin commercial plumber for routine maintenance or you are worried about FOG buildups in your facility, you can trust the experts at Speedy Clean Drain & Sewer to get the job done. Call us today for emergency grease trap pumping services.