When your restaurant is busy, it’s easy to forget details like maintenance, especially something as out-of-sight, out-of-mind as a grease trap hidden in a backroom or a grease interceptor beneath the pavement out back. However, it’s at these peak seasons for your restaurant that your grease trap is at most risk – when it’s filling faster and not being monitored. Failure to keep this equipment ready for your busiest time can cause serious business-stopping issues from sewer overflow to health and safety violations. Time to get ready.
Know the Warning Signs of a Full Grease Trap
Hopefully, you consulted with a grease trap maintenance company when installing your grease trap to properly get the correct sizing for your restaurant’s needs. But your peak seasons and days within that season can throw off regular cleaning cycles. Make sure to do the following to avoid a business-halting emergency.
- Know the 25% Rule: Also known as the 1/4th or quarter rule, when your grease trap is 25% or more filled with FOGS (Fats, Oils, Grease, and Solids) it needs to be emptied.
- Keep a Nose Out for Odor: Often the first sign your grease trap is under strain is a shift in smell. Make sure your staff knows to tell you if the grease trap or interceptor starts to smell.
- Monitor Your Wastewater Flow: Are your drains taking longer to empty? Are pipes connected to your wastewater system backing up? Check your trap immediately.
Work with Staff for Best Practices for FOGS
The more hectic the restaurant and the kitchen, the more your staff is under stress to work quickly and efficiently. Make sure that they keep in mind some best practices while they work to avoid putting strain on the grease traps when they need them most. This includes:
- Scrape pots and pans into the garbage.
- Don’t overuse the food disposal.
- Keep strainer and grates in sinks and floor drains.
- Deal with grease spills properly.
- Keep track of checking the grease traps.
Check out the full list and expanded best practices in our blog, 5 Grease Trap Best Practices for a Commercial Kitchen.
Consult the Professionals and Follow Their Advice
It’s important to get your grease trap and/or grease interceptor regularly cleaned by professionals. This includes not only figuring out your maintenance cycle (how quickly your grease trap fills to 1/4th of its capacity) but also have them come by to inspect your trap if you’re running at high capacity. If you’re selling twice as much food, chances are your grease trap is filling twice as fast. The last thing you want to happen is having an overflow or having the local inspector fining you for having a full grease trap that isn’t screening grease.
Proper grease trap maintenance and regularly scheduled cleanings can keep you going strong even in your peak seasons. If you’re looking for grease trap service in the Massachusetts and New Hampshire area, we hope to hear from you at Food Grease Trappers. We’re veterans of the grease trap world, and can help you train your employees on best practices, sell your WVO, and of course maintain your grease traps with quick servicing. Contact us today or fill out one of our free consultation forms online.